MANILA, Philippines – “Fighter of the Decade” Manny Pacquiao kicked off his sparring sessions on Thursday, testing his might against training partner Glen Tapia of the United States.
The closed-door sparring session took place at the Shape Up Gym in Cooyesan Hotel in Baguio City, where Pacquiao squared off against his 5’11” American spar mate.
“It was great work. Glen Tapia gave me exactly what I wanted,” said Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, after emerging from training.
Pacquiao is preparing for his November 13 super welterweight fight against Mexico’s Antonio Margarito.
The Filipino skipped his usual jogging routine on Thursday morning to prepare himself for the 4-round sparring session.
Roach said Pacquiao performed well against Tapia, who also wields a big right hand like the 5’11” Margarito.
Tapia boasts of more than 100 victories in his amateur career. He also holds 5 knockouts on 7 wins as a pro.
Roach said that the sparring session with Tapia revealed the needed adjustments Pacquiao has to take against Margarito.
Tapia, on the other hand, said he felt Pacquiao's punching power.
The Filipino champ is confident that he'll be in tip top shape before his fight day against Margarito at the Cowboys Stadium in Texas.
“Nakukuha naman namin yung gusto nating kuning condition. Mahaba pa ang panahon natin, tiyak na makukuha natin ang 100 percent condition,” said Pacquiao.
His next sparring date will be on Saturday.
Also serving as the Filipino’s spar mate is Michael Medina, a 6-feet bruiser from Mexico with similar boxing style as Margarito.
It was also reported that Team Pacquiao is expecting the arrival of middleweight contender Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., who will also spar with the Filipino.
Chavez Jr. is the son of Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez.