MANILA, Philippines – Eight-division world champion Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao admits he always has a full schedule as he balances his boxing career, his duties as a Congressman, and his newfound commitment to God and religion.
But the World Boxing Organization welterweight champion told RingTV recently that he “enjoys” his busy schedule, adding tha he is “lucky” to have the ability to be “mentally organized.”
“How difficult is it to juggle training with my congressional schedule is a question I am asked a lot, and it is a good one,” Pacquiao said.
“Training for a fight or being a congressman takes a great amount of discipline individually, but combined, I have to be very diligent in sticking to planned schedules,” he added.
“It’s not something I can do alone.”
Currently, Pacquiao is in Los Angeles, where he is training for his June 9 title defense against unbeaten American boxer Timothy Bradley Jr., although he says he is still fulfilling his duties as congressman of Sarangani.
“Most of my training camps are held while Congress is in recess, though that does not mean I stop working for the people I represent,” Pacquiao said.
“I am in daily touch with my congressional staff by telephone and e-mail, where I am constantly kept updated on legislation that is pending, projects I am working on and any emergencies that may pop up,” he added.
In training camp, Pacquiao follows a schedule set by his trainer, Freddie Roach, a Hall-of-Famer and a five-time Trainer of the Year winner.
Pacquiao said Roach keeps him on a schedule that involves roadwork in the morning and gym sessions in the afternoon.
For the boxer, the training not only helps him prepare for his fights but also helps him “think clearer when it comes to dealing with my Congressional duties.”
“I feel totally energized after working out and I am able to pour that physical and mental energy into my congressional work,” Pacquiao said.
Members of Pacquiao’s team have said in various interviews that their current training camp is “going well,” with strength and conditioning trainer Alex Ariza saying that the boxer was on the right track.
“He’s great, he has God on his side and he’s doing well,” said Roach in a recent interview.
Last week, Roach revealed that they were entering the most intense week of training camp, wherein they were supposed to do 33 rounds of sparring.
“That’ll be our peak, and we’ll start tapering off this week,” the trainer said.
Pacquiao concludes his days with Bible study sessions, which he says are “the perfect way to end the day.”
The champion boxer recently experienced a renewal of faith, which came after his narrow victory over Mexican rival Juan Manuel Marquez last November.
He has since gotten rid of his vices, including gambling, cockfighting and partying, which had affected his performance in previous boxing matches.
“I have discovered that the Bible is the manual to life,” Pacquiao said. “It has given me a lot of comfort as well as lessons on being a better person.”
“The Bible has shown me what my priorities should be so that I can live a better life. I feel better because I have embraced the Bible... And I am so much happier and at peace because I have embraced the Bible,” he said.
Roach had previously expressed his concerns about Pacquiao’s renewed faith as he feared it will affect his performance inside the ring, but the trainer has since changed his mind.
“Nothing’s really changed there. He understands boxing is a sport, and that’s the one we chose,” Roach said.
Pacquiao maintains that the hectic schedule is something that he enjoys.
“I enjoy doing different things, because I find the overlap improves my productivity and creativity,” he said. “It alters my routine, which I find stimulating.” – With a report from Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN News North America.