WHAT do boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao and rising mixed martial artist Mark Striegl have in common?
Both of them find the mountain-hideaway of Baguio as the perfect training venue as they get ready for an upcoming fight.
“I had a fight in Baguio a year ago and I felt the high altitude. I felt the effect in my lungs,” admitted Striegl.
“And I originally just came for a one-month training, kind of like Manny Pacquiao-style, and the one month just escalated and turned into a couple of months, and I couldn’t get myself to leave.”
Pacquiao had previously used Baguio as the lead point of his training camp for his fights against Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito, Sugar Shane Mosley, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Timothy Bradley.
Striegl’s first training session in the City of Pines seemed to have worked as he not only defeated opponent Crisanto Pitpitunge via a rear-naked choke February of last year, but also won his next eight bouts after that -- all but one, via submission.
The Fil-Am warrior had become so attached with Baguio that he has been a resident of the city for over a year now.
“I love Baguio. The weather’s cool, the atmosphere’s great, and it’s not that crowded,” said Streigl, whose mom is from Oriental Mindoro, and who was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan.
Whether his continuous high-altitude training pays off or not this time will be known Saturday when the 24-year-old Striegl clashes with fellow Fil-Am Harris Sarmiento in the co-main event bout of the Pacific X-treme Combat 34 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Striegl will be staking his unbeaten streak of 11 fights against the veteran Sarmiento, also known as the `Hitman’ who has a 35-23 win-loss card, in their featherweight bout.
During the official weigh-in held on the eve of the fight, Striegl checked in a pound below the 145-pound limit, while Sarmiento weighed in at exactly 145 pounds.
The main event fighters also passed the weight test with flying colors.
Ale “The Young Gun” Cali, the defending flyweight champion, checked in at exactly 125 pounds, while his challenger, Erwin Tagle, weighed in a pound below the flyweight limit.