THE camp of Manny Pacquiao has stepped up training for his fight with Jeff Horn after Mexican Adrian Young arrived in the country over the week to be the new sparmate of the Filipino boxing great.
Young, 24, arrived last Sunday and immediately had his baptism of fire on Tuesday when he sparred with Pacquiao for four rounds at the Elorde gym at the Five E-Com Bldg at the Mall of Asia Complex.
The reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion sparred a total of eight rounds, including against Filipino sparmates Leonardo Doronio and Sonney Katiandagho.
So far, the 38-year-old Pacquiao has sparred a total of 28 rounds with just a month left before he defends his 147-lb. belt against Horn on July 2 in Brisbane, Australia.
“We have a new sparring partner from Mexico. It will be interesting,” trained Freddie Roach announced in his first ever personal appearance at the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at the Golden Phoenix Hotel.
“I am happy to bring in a new sparring partner who has not worked with Manny before.”
Young (24-3), showed up at the weekly forum, but vowed to give Pacquiao a tough time in training camp to prepare him well for his first defense of his WBO crown.
“It’s an honor to be here and be chosen as Manny Pacquiao’s sparring partner,” he said.
Pacquiao and Young, who’s taller than the Filipino, however didn’t go at it hard during sparring.
“Alalay din lang kasi may jetlag pa din siya (Young),” said Pacquiao assistant trainer Nonoy Neri.
But Roach acknowledged Pacquiao is picking up the momentum in training.
"Progress is coming. He's getting better and better. He sparred two days ago and he did very well. We got it back quickly," said the five-time Trainer of the Year.