There have been drastic changes in the way Manny Pacquiao is training for his world-title duel against Lucas Matthysse of Argentina in Kuala Lumpur on July 15.
Unlike before when Pacquiao used to let opponents trap him in a corner and pummel him with body blows just to feel their power, the 8-division world champion no longer wants to be hit.
He’ll glide, slide or defend to ward off a direct assault, which Matthysse loves to do.
This was evident in the way Pacquiao performed in 10 rounds of sparring at the Wild Card Gym in General Santos City Tuesday afternoon.
Pacquiao, still shifty and sprightly at 39, didn't allow chief sparring partner George Kambosos Jr. and two other Filipino sparmates to go near him without getting rained on with blows.
Apparently, chief trainer Buboy Fernandez, and strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune convinced Pacquiao that at this stage his body should no longer be ravaged.
Especially by power punchers such as Matthysse, who’ll be dangling his World Boxing Association welterweight crown for the first time at Axiata Arena.
It also took some prodding from the training staff to convince Pacquiao to lessen his running as it’s taking a toll on his legs.
Without the morning road work, Pacquiao felt the advantages as he looked sharp and accurate in the 6 rounds he split with Kambosos and Gerich Chaves, and four rounds with super welterweight Arnel Tinampay.
On Wednesday, however, Pacquiao is expected to do some early jogging before hitting the gym in the afternoon.
Fernandez and Fortune believe that Pacquiao is right on track in his preparations for his first fight since losing the World Boxing Organization 147-pound crown to Jeff Horn in Brisbane, Australia, a year ago.
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