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Manny Pacquiao Starts Sparring Session
« on: April 23, 2012, 12:31:22 PM »
By Eddie G. Alinea

Manny Pacquiao’s sparring session may have to wait for another week.

This is not because his scheduled mate –- Ruslan Provodnikov of Russia -- isn’t coming but because the Filipino World Boxing Organization welterweight belt-owner had a “good week” in his training camp here trainer Freddie Roach decided to forego the sparring until Saturday next week.

“It was a very good week. We have attained what we had wanted to attain so I decided to give Manny a break. Sparring session starts on Saturday,” Roach told this writer in an interview at the Shape Up Boxing Gym inside the Cooyeesan Hotel, home of Team Pacquiao's training in the Pines City.

“The two-week advanced training Manny had, indeed, produced good results. He was very good in doing the mitts with me, it was amazing in the conditioning aspect of preparations,” Roach said.

“He’s been on the road the whole morning since he arrived here Tuesday night and inside the gym in the entire afternoon till last Friday,” he added. “I can’t ask for more.”

Roach said that sparring in the last six weeks of the fine-tuning program will just be ideal with the way Pacquiao spent three weeks of priming up that started in taking the road inside the subdivision in Sta. Rosa City in Laguna where his family resides.

Pacquiao followed it up with another week in General Santos City during the Holy Week under the guidance of boyhood assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez.

Roach would not admit though that the change in schedule was to avoid Pacquiao being over-trained, a suspicion blamed by many for his lackluster performance against Juan Manuel Marquez in Act III of their trilogy last November.

Provodnikov, a 28-year-old promising junior-welterweight prospect, is to arrive Monday night from his hometown Beryosovo in Russia.

“I will make him observe Manny first to study what he can do to help in training, at the same time gain experience facing a tough, experienced fighter like Manny he could use in pursuing his boxing career,” Roach explained.

Roach said Provodnikov would be an ideal sparring partner for Pacquiao because of having a fighting style approximating that of Tim Bradley, the undefeated junior-welterweight champion with whom the Filipino icon will be staking his 147-pound diadem on June 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

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