MANILA, Philippines – World welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao started sparring at the Shape up Boxing Gym in Baguio City on Tuesday, focusing on the timing of his punches for his May 7 title defense against Shane Mosley.
According to a Philboxing.com report by Eddie Alinea, the reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight king spent 4 rounds of sparring against training partners, Shawn Porter and David Rodela (2 rounds each).
His trainer, Freddie Roach, said Pacquiao’s timing is not yet perfect which is just natural for a boxer coming off a break.
“He’s not 100% okay yet, especially in his timing,” Roach said. “He’s a little bit cautious with his moves, but that’s understandable. I can see him improving a lot before we leave for Los Angeles on Saturday.”
The training session included a 6-round mitt work and several rounds with the heavy bag, double end bag, speed ball and conditioning work.
Pacquiao’s conditioning coach said Tuesday’s session was a testament of the Filipino’s willingness to undergo hard training.
“Actually, what he did today was what he requested. He did not need the big bag, but he wanted that. And so were the double end and the speed ball. That only meant one thing, he’s serious in whatever he wants to do in training,” Ariza added.
Pacquiao said he needs to recover from his down time from boxing, hence, the hard work.
The last time Pacquiao fought was when he clobbered Mexico’s Antonio Margarito on Nov. 14 to win his 8th world title, the World Boxing Council (WBC) junior middleweight title.
“Well, kailangan talaga bigay-todo sa ensayo, marami tayong dapat ma-recover matapos ang mahabang pahinga mula noong laban ko okay (Antonio) Margarito (I have to be all-out in training, I have to recover from my break since the Margarito fight),” Pacquiao said.
Pacquiao admitted that he still has to fine tune his timing. He, however, assured his fans that there is still time for him to make adjustments.
“Tama si Freddie nangangapa pa ako sa timing ng suntok. Di ko maibigay agad kahit gusto ko. Ma-adjust naman agad ‘yun (Freddie is right, I’m still coping with my timing. I’m still holding back. But it can still be adjusted),” he said.
Porter and Rodela said Pacquiao’s still has this attitude of mixing it up with his opponents.
“He still possesses the power and speed like before,” said Porter. “I challenged him to toe-to-toe and he accepted the dare. He amazed me as usual.”
“Yeah, same with me. I wanted to mix it up with him and he obliged,” Rodela said, for his part.