LOS ANGELES – Buboy Fernandez only has two words to tell Manny Pacquiao when the latter climbs the ring against Timothy Bradley in Las Vegas.
“Wala munang awa-awa,” Fernandez said Sunday.
No one knows Pacquiao better than Fernandez, the boxer’s childhood friend and now his assistant trainer.
They’ve known each other for decades. They’ve been together win or lose, through thick or thin.
When Pacquiao was brutally knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez, the first person Pacquiao looked for after he regained his consciousness was Fernandez.
“Buboy, nasan ka?” Fernandez recalled Pacquiao as saying amid the pandemonium on top of the ring.
Fernandez has Pacquiao’s ears. When he talks, Pacquiao listens.
“Sinasabi ko sa kanya na kailangan natin manalo dito. Hindi natin kailangan na awa ditto (I tell him we need to win here. We don’t need compassion),” he said.
Fernandez and chief trainer Freddie Roach are on the same page, that Pacquiao has shown too much compassion on his most recent opponents, including Bradley.
Fernadez said he reviewed the Bradley fight of June 2012 and realized that Pacquiao was too nice inside the ring and at times a little too confident.
Pacquiao tried to coast along and Bradley became the busier fighter. Fernandez said even if Bradley was slapping his punches, the judges appreciated them.
“Alam ng mundo kung sino ang nanalo pero may mga pagkukulang tayo (The world knows who won but we had our shortcomings),” Fernandez went on.
Pacquiao admitted that he was “too nice” to Bradley in the first fight, and that he worked hard to bring back the aggressiveness of the old Pacquiao.
Fernandez is pretty sure that Bradley studied the last Pacquiao-Marquez fight to find out how Pacquiao got open and how Marquez managed to land the big one.
“Kaya kung puwede sagasa na tayo at abante (If possible we run him down). Yung tumba dadating yun (The knockout will come),” Fernandez added.
“Bugbugin natin ng bugbugin. Damihan ang suntok,” he said.
In training, Ferndandez he said the old Pacquiao was the same fighter that ran through bigger opponents like Oscar dela Hoya and Antonio Margarito.
“Sinabi ko kay Manny na ito ang Pacquiao nung 10 years ago. Matagal ko nang hindi nakikita ito. Hindi yung Pacquiao nung last three fights,” said Fernandez.
He has the blueprint for success. All Pacquiao has to do is to follow the instructions.
“Guarantee ko, may paglalagyan ito (Bradley),” Fernandez added.