DEBUTING pro Arnold Gonzalez has just been bloodied by a 40-year-old sparring partner.
The 23-year-old Gonzalez went three rounds with boxing great Manny Pacquiao at the Wild Card gym in Los Angeles just before the year ended and was left with a bloody nose when sparring was over.
Gonzalez, a New York native who will take on his first pro fight in the undercard of Pacquiao’s World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight title defense against Adrian Broner three weeks from now, was blown away by the power and speed of the Filipino southpaw.
“Manny Pacquiao is a very unpredictable fighter. He is fast and strong. I can hardly believe he is already 40 years old,” Gonzalez told Aquiles Zonio, Pacquiao's information officer, after the intense workout.
The eight-time world division champion found an opening late in the third round of their sparring and quickly caught Gonzalez with a solid left that drew blood from the nose of the two-time national champion.
The sparring was briefly interrupted as blood had to be wiped off the canvas.
Gonzalez admitted being jolted by Pacquiao’s power.
“He managed to catch me with a good left late in the third round. Of course, you have to expect a tough sparring with someone like Manny Pacquiao,” he said.
When it was over, the Filipino senator went over to Gonzalez to check on his condition.
“Pacquiao is a very nice guy. He’s paying me to spar with him but it’s more heart-warming to know he is concerned about my safety. He is giving me a break. And my team is now working out my inclusion as one of the undercards in his January 19 fight,” he added.
The incident didn’t stop Pacquiao as sparring proceeded against two other fighters.
The reigning champion sparred for another three rounds against Lydell Rhodes and then had a four-round session against regular partner George Kambosos.
It was the last sparring session in 2018 for Pacquiao, who’s next sparring schedule is set on the first day of the New Year.