THE first part of Manny Pacquiao’s training camp for his upcoming title fight against Adrian Broner went well.
Hopefully, everything will be sustained as it now enters its most crucial stage beginning next week.
As the entourage of the reigning World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight champion leaves for the U.S. Saturday night, lead trainer Buboy Fernandez is keeping his fingers crossed the training program the team has begun will be maintained especially now that consultant Freddie Roach is entering the picture.
Fernandez is a little bit wary Roach, who he succeeded as Pacquiao’s long-time trainer, might try to suggest altering what they’ve already started in training camp, with the proximity of the fight just less than a month from now.
“Sana ang pinagdadasal ko pagdating sa L.A. walang pagbabago,” said the long-time friend of the boxing great and Filipino senator. “Kung naging maganda yung takbo natin nung last fight, baka pagdating doon magbago ang lahat. Doon ako natatakot.”
Fernandez took over Pacquiao’s training chore following the falling out between the long-time teacher and student in the wake of the Filipino’s shock 12-round decision loss to Jeff Horn.
His first foray as full-time trainer of the 40-year-old Pacquiao was a success after the ‘Pacman’ regained a piece of the welterweight title by scoring a seventh round stoppage of Lucas Matthysse to win the World Boxing Association (WBO) version of the 147-pound belt.
But after more than a year of no communication, Pacquiao eventually mend ways with Roach, who he would later announce during the whirlwind press tour of his fight against Broner, will serve as consultant for the January 19 title bout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
While Fernandez has the utmost respect for the 58-year-old Roach with who he worked in Pacquiao’s corner for 16 years, there seems to be a little bit of an apprehension on his part on what the Hall of Fame trainer would be doing once training camp shifts to Los Angeles.
Fernandez was quick to draw the line between his role and that of Roach.
“Nandoon pa rin, pero mahirap magsalita,” he said. “Malinaw naman, si brod (Pacquiao) naman ang nagsabi (about their roles). Pero ewan ko lang.”
Pacquiao sparred in Manila for the last time Saturday afternoon, going four rounds each against Australian George Cambosos and Cebuano Jeric Chavez at the Elorde gym at Econ 5 within the Mall of Asia Arena.
The gym was packed with well-wishers including close friend former Ilocos Sur governor Chavit Singson, as Pacquiao and his entire family will be spending both Christmas and New Year in L.A as he trains against the 29-year-old Broner.
Pacquiao, who just turned 40 a few days ago, won’t be back in the country until January 23.