Pacquiao stops playing hoops as training intensifies


Posted at Mar 19 2014 03:49 PM | Updated as of Mar 19 2014 11:49 PM

MANILA – Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao said he has stopped playing basketball as his training for his April 12 showdown against American Timothy Bradley Jr. intensifies.

When he started training for the fight in General Santos City, Pacquiao regularly played basketball as part of his program. But now that he is in Los Angeles, the “Pacman” said he has stopped playing hoops.

“Trabaho talaga, walang pahinga,” he told PhilBoxing’s Eddie Alinea. “I can’t even play basketball anymore.”

“I already foresaw what will happen, even when I was still in General Santos for the first leg of my preparation, that’s why I intentionally skipped my first day of workout Monday last week to prepare myself for the long and hard grind,” he added.

Pacquiao added that he has also started working with strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune, saying the trainer “gave me a helluva day” when they began working last week.

“At the end of the day, all I wanted was to have more sleep,” said Pacquiao, who added that he was happy to have Fortune back in Team Pacquiao.

“I’m happy that Justin has rejoined the team, he will be a great help in my preparation as he was in our first five years together,” said Pacquiao. “Ngayon pa lang, after only four days of working out with him, maganda na ang pakiramdam ko sa katawan ko.”

Pacquiao is trying to avenge his loss to Bradley in June 2012, which saw the American get awarded with a split decision despite being dominated by the “Pacman” for most of the bout.

That loss ended Pacquiao’s seven-year, 15-fight victory and allowed Bradley to annex his World Boxing Organization welterweight belt.

But the “Pacman” expressed his confidence that he can get his vengeance next month.

“We still have four weeks in our program, so I can’t see any reason why I can’t reach the desired results we’re aiming for,” said Pacquiao.