THE muscle stiffness which hampered Manny Pacquiao’s training the past week is gone. And so is the shoulder pain.
With the problems out of the way, chief trainer Freddie Roach declared that Pacquiao and his training team look forward to shifting to another gear in their buildup for his coming title fight with Australian challenger Jeff Horn five weeks from now.
“Everything went well, Manny sparred for a total 18 rounds in three days, hit the mitts no less than 30 rounds the entire week and it looks like we’re ready to move to the next phase of the program,” the 57-year-old seven-time Trainer of the Year awardee assessed.
“As we’ve said, the power in his fists has been there and he’s also slowly regaining his speed in both his fists and legs,” Roach, who arrived on Monday last week with conditioning coach Justin Fortune, added.
“He’s already throwing combinations, although still in sporadic fashion of three to four punches only. Our next target is to make him throw eight to 10 as he’d been doing in the past,” he said. “That’ll be our next agenda starting next week.”
Roach and Fortune were all praises for a pair of local junior-welterweights Leopoldo Doronio and Fil-Indon Sonny Kartiandagho, who have been laying the foundation in the sparring department of the program.
“They’ve been doing their job well, at least for now in the absence of regular sparring partners,” the world-famous trainer said, adding it’s Pacquiao’s business adviser Mike Koncz who been negotiating for at least two more sparring patners to join the camp soon.
To achieve the purpose of transforming the three-time 147-pound kingpin into a punching machine like he used to be, members of the training team, including assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez, Nonoy Neri and Roger “Haplas” Fernandez, have agreed to increase the sparring frequency to eight rounds.
Fortune, for his part, disclosed that the plyometric exercises that also started last week will continue and might increase in frequency for stamina-building purpose.
“The senate sessions, we were told, will be in recess starting June 1 so we will be having leeway on the adjustment of the schedule, a luxury not accorded Manny since the camp opened last month,” Fortune said.
“Manny is committed to prepare well for this fight and has not been remise on that commitment. The training team, in the same manner, is committed to prepare him the best way we can,” Roach assured, allaying fears that the eight-division champ is lagging behind in his preparation.