From the airport straight to the lion's den for Pacquiao sparmate Jose Ramirez
Manny Pacquiao prepares for a sparring session at the Elorde Gym. Mei-Lin Lozada

LESS than 24 hours after arriving from the US, Jose Ramirez was immediately fed to the lion.

The unbeaten American found himself face to face with Manny Pacquiao on a rainy Wednesday night as the two sparred for four rounds at the Elorde gym inside the Five-Ecom building at the Mall of Asia complex.

Ramirez admitted feeling weary during the sparring session following his 14-hour flight to Manila, but tried his best to keep in step with his game sparmate.

"He woke me up," said a smiling Ramirez afterwards.

The welterweight arrived in the country early Wednesday morning accompanied by trainer Freddie Roach to serve as one of Pacquiao's sparmates for his November 5 title fight against Jessie Vargas.

"My hands are heavy," he added. "But it's good (sparring). I consider myself a strong fighter and that's what Manny needs against Jessie Vargas."

Roach said letting Ramirez, a former Olympian, spar with Pacquiao right away was part of the plan despite the two of them having little rest from their long flight.

"We were talking about it on the plane, and he said, 'No problem,'" recalled Roach of his conversation with Ramirez. "And it's what he's here for ... to spar."

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