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Monday, April 27, 2009

Told to rest, Pacquiao ignores advice, trains

LOS ANGELES - Manny Pacquiao pulled a fast one on his training team on Sunday morning when the Filipino star put on his gym attire and wound up racking up 1,200 crunches despite orders that he remain in bed.

“They thought I was going to take it easy,” said Pacquiao, grinning, a few hours after he succeeded in gathering his men at the Pan Pacific Park, a joggers’ paradise just a stone’s throw away from his apartment at The Palazzo.

During training camp, Pacquiao trains six times a day, using the Pan Pacific Park and the hills of Griffith Park for morning roadwork before showing up in the afternoon at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood.

Less than a week before facing British tough man Ricky Hatton at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Pacquiao refused to let the day pass without working out a sweat, and one of the men who joined him had to scamper when the big boss rang him.

“He told us he wouldn’t run, but he did,” said a laughing Nonoy Neri who also serves as nutritionist and masseur.

“It’s really hard to stop him when he is in training mode. He is pumped up for the fight,” added Neri, who stays in a hotel just adjacent to The Palazzo, a gated apartment complex in trendy La Brea area.

Strength coach Alex Ariza had told Pacquiao to just stay indoors, but the fighter just wouldn’t obey.

He ended up doing 1,200 sit-up variations and spent some time shadow boxing “to remain sharp.”

Pacquiao will train and spar for the last time on Monday afternoon, just before he and his huge entourage roll towards Las Vegas on board a customized bus. They should be in Sin City not later than 9 p.m. where a banquet of Filipino dishes await them at his suite at The Hotel at Mandalay Bay.

Since kicking off sparring in the third week of March, Pacquiao has logged a total of 145 rounds and he is scheduled to add up four more at the expense of Uzbek Alisher Rahimov and David Rodela.

Beginning Tuesday until Thursday, Pacquiao would train - albeit lightly – at the IBA Gym, a private gym away from the hustle and bustle of the Strip.

“My workouts will be light, just enough to make me sweat,” said Pacquiao, who has been installed the heavy favorite.


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