Pacquiao recovering ‘very fast’ from extended layoff, trainer says

Roy Luarca

Posted at May 10 2018 05:59 AM

Manny Pacquiao appears to be recovering "very fast" from nearly a year of boxing inactivity. File/Wendell Alinea

It was Jonathan Peñalosa's turn to feel the power of Manny Pacquiao's punches on Wednesday.

Peñalosa, one of the 8-division world champion's longtime training assistants, did the mitts for 5 rounds with Pacquiao at the Wild Card Gym in Genaral Santos City.

And, according to the former World Boxing Council international flyweight titlist, nothing has changed.

Pacquiao, despite being 39 years old, still packs power and speed with both fists.

“Malakas pa rin. Mabilis, walang pagbabago,” Peñalosa, brother of former world champions Dodie Boy and Gerry, told ABS-CBN News.

Peñalosa subbed for lead trainer Buboy Fernandez, who is slowly getting used to the mitts routine but still gets tired owing to the array of movements and frenetic speed Pacquiao dishes out during the mitts session.

Also incorporated into the training session were calisthenics, stretching exercises, shadow boxing, one round of swinging ball, six minutes of speed ball and one round of skipping rope.

On Tuesday, Nonito Donaire Sr., father of multiple world champion Nonito Jr., and former national coach Ting Ariosa alternated doing the mitts with Pacquiao, who is gunning for Argentine Lucas Matthysse's World Boxing Association welterweight title crown at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur on July 15.

Based on what he saw and felt, Peñalosa, who also had the chance to do the mitts with Pacquiao in his preparations for Brandon Rios in 2013 in Macau, said Pacquiao's recovery from nearly a year of ring inactivity is “very fast.”

Sans longtime coach Freddie Roach, Pacquiao is trying to form an all-Filipino team for the Matthysse bout that will largely determine whether he can still fight at the elite level.

For now, Pacquiao is requesting his training team that also includes Nonoy Neri and Plas Fernandez to share inputs and pool their knowledge together. A spot is left open for a physical conditioning expert that would complete the team.

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