International Boxing Federation (IBF) welterweight champion Shawn Porter believes Filipino ring icon Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao will benefit greatly from his sparring sessions with unbeaten prospect Lydell Rhodes.
The 26-year-old Rhodes served as Pacquiao’s primary sparring partner during the first phase of the Filipino boxer’s training camp in General Santos City.
Porter, who has sparred with both Pacquiao and Rhodes, told Hustle Boss that he supports Pacquiao’s choice of sparring partner.
“I’ve been in the ring with Lydell. He actually gave me a little bit of trouble the few times I’ve been in the ring with him. He’s really awkward. He’s kind of wild and unorthodox – which is what I think Manny needs,” said Porter.
Porter believes Pacquiao’s experience in the ring with Rhodes will come in handy when the “Pacman” faces off against unbeaten American Timothy Bradley in their rematch on April 12.
“I think at times, in all of his fights, Timothy gets a little unorthodox and tends to let loose,” Porter observed. “That’s going to be a good look for Manny.”
Pacquiao is currently holding the second phase of his training camp at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles.
Reports coming out of the Pacquiao camp indicate that the Filipino icon is already in great shape with still weeks to go before fight night.
“It doesn’t surprise me at all,” said Porter. “Manny, he’s a veteran in this sport. Not only that – he’s still at the top of his game.”
“I think many people count him out because of what’s happened in his last few fights,” added Porter. “But I think as long as the old Manny shows up, I think he’ll win this fight.”
Pacquiao is out for revenge against Bradley, as the American infamously defeated him via controversial split decision when they first fought in June 2012.