By Kabayan Jerome Lagunzad
LESS than three weeks before he puts his World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight title on the line against American challenger Adrien Broner, at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, eight-division world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao looks all primed up for another masterful performance.
Pacquiao, 40, busted the nose of Arnold Gonzales, one of his sparring partners, during their three-round sparring session over the weekend as he continued his rigorous training regimen, at Freddie Roach’s Wildcard Gym in Hollywood.
Pacquiao also sparred against Lydell Rhodes (three rounds) and George Kambosos Jr. (four rounds) for an impressive 10-round sparring session, where he’s shown his vintage form under the watchful eyes of chief trainer Buboy Fernandez, conditioning coach Justin Fortune and Roach, now his consultant.
According to Aquiles Zonio, Pacquiao was “light on his feet and heavy with his punches” as he sneaked in a left straight that bloodied the nose of Gonzales.
Fernandez is also making sure that Pacquiao gets enough breather to allow his body to fully recover.
“Malakas at mabilis naman ang kilos niya. Kaya lang medyo lubog yong mata at inamin niyang mabigat ‘yong katawan niya. So, nagdecide kami ni coach Justin na bigyan siya ng pahinga,” Fernandez said in a philboxing.com report.
Fernandez added that they are just utilizing the same formula, which proved effective in Pacquiao’s TKO victory over Argentinian Lucas Matthysse, last July. “During the training camp for the Matthysse fight, ginawa na namin ito. ‘Pag nakita namin na medyo pagod siya, we advised him to rest at naniwala naman siya,” he said.
“Napansin ko, mas maganda ang kilos niya pag well rested siya. Wala naman tayong problema kasi todo-bigay siya sa ensayo,” Fernandez added.
Meanwhile, Pacquiao was tagged as a -260 favorite in their 12-round duel on January 19, 2019, to be aired for free on ITV4 in the United Kingdom. Broner was listed as +200 underdog.
The odds mean a $260 wager on Pacquiao to earn $100 if he wins while a $100 bet on Broner will be doubled if he prevails.