Pacquiao pushing hard in training

By Abac Cordero, The Philippine Star

Posted at Feb 22 2014 05:33 PM | Updated as of Feb 23 2014 05:50 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Manny Pacquiao is out to impress his chief trainer Freddie Roach that he’s been pushing himself hard in and out of the gym in General Santos City.

Pacquiao, scheduled for a rematch with Timothy Bradley on April 12 in Las Vegas, is into training nearly two months ahead of his first fight for the year. (Related story on A-20)

Yesterday, the 35-year-old superstar did seven rounds with the mitts with his buddy Buboy Fernandez in GenSan’s own version of the Wild Card Gym.

Pacquiao is taking the Bradley rematch seriously because he can’t allow the undefeated American to pull off another stunning decision.

When they first met in June 2012, Bradley won a tight decision when most people thought Pacquiao won. Bradley went to the post-fight press conference on a wheelchair.

Bradley said he hurt both feet during the fight.

After losing to Bradley, Pacquiao suffered a horrific knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez, igniting calls from his critics that it was time to retire.

But Pacquiao said that since he beat Bradley inside the ring and only got caught by a lucky punch by Marquez, it was not time to hang up his gloves.

And he proved it last November when he outclassed the younger Brandon Rios in Macau. Still, he can’t take Bradley lightly, and right now he’s working hard in training.

Roach is in Macau to work the corner of his Chinese ward, Zou Shiming, this weekend, and soon after he flies to the Philippines to oversee Pacquiao’s training.

Pacquiao should begin sparring with American Lydell Rhodes and maybe a couple of locals next week, and should head to Los Angeles in the early days of April.