By EDDIE G. ALINEA
Special to Philippines Today
LAS VEGAS, Nevada (via PhilAmPress) — After completing a total of 130 rounds of sparring since he pitched camp in General Santos City and trained at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, Filipino boxing star Manny Pacquiao starts tapering off on his training regimen Tuesday (Wedneday in Manila) ahead of his third fight with Timothy Bradley this coming Saturday (Sunday in Manila) at the MGM Grand Arena here.
Pacquiao had a group prayer at the Wild Card Gym before proceeding to Las Vegas with his wife Jinkee, children and members of the Team Pacquiao , friends and members of media.
Pacquiao, the only fighter with eight world titles to his belt and the only fighting congressman on record, said he was ready to face Bradley and win in what he called as his farewell fight.
“Ready na. Sabik na sabik na nga akong umakyat muli sa ring. Almost one year na kasing na-bakante at kailangan manalo tayo. Pipilitin natin, kondisyon naman tayo at prepardo, ” he told this writer.
Pacquiao, who is considered a shoo-in in the senatorial race in the May 9 elections in the Philippines, called on Filipinos to forget politics and watch his fight against Bradley, the American world champion.
“Magkaisa po tayong lahat para po sa karangalan ng ating bansa,” Pacquiao said. “Wala pong halong pulitiko o ano man, basta tayo, sama-sama tayo para sa ating bansa.”
Pacquiao’s wife, Jinkee, outgoing vice governor of Sarangani province, said she was looking forward to her husband’s farewell fight and expects an impressive performance.
“Alam kong pinaghandaan niya talaga ito, kasi last fight niya na ito,” she said. “Kailangan manalo siya.”
“Happy ako na this is his last fight. At least makapag-pahinga na rin siya,” she added.
A very light roadwork that would probably be held at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and a similarly sweating out session with the mitts with chief trainer Freddie Roach awaits the 37-year-old Sarangani Congressman, which in all probability will be the same pattern he will follow Wednesday before throwing himself in complete hibernation until the day of the fight.
“We’ll be training for only two more days in Las Vegas then rest all the way until his date with Bradley on Saturday,” Roach said after a four-round sparring with Colongese-Canadian Ghislain Monday, the day Team Pacquiao left Los Angeles on the way here.
The team, along with some 300 of his followers, supporters, relatives and media men riding in a 40-vehicle caravan set foot on this city of vices at around 9 o’clock Monday evening following a five-hour trip.
The three-time ‘Fighter of the Decade’ tendered a dinner for members of his entourage at his suite at the 60th floor of the Delano Hotel.
After Tuesday’s roadwork, Pacquiao will proceed to the MGM Grand main lobby for the customary Grand Arrival ceremony where he will be facing Bradley for the first time since the three-city press conference announcing the fight.
Bradley has been awarded the honor of being the first to be received by the host hotel at 12:30 p.m. followed by the Filipino at one o’clock.
Meanwhile, the distribution of the temporary credentials for media men also starts at noon Tuesday at the provisional pre-center at Studio 1 of the MGM Grand Arena.
Pacquiao and Bradley meet again prior to the actual confrontation Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. at the David Copperfield Theater inside the MGM Grand followed by the pay per-view Fighters Meet and Greet Autograph session at 2 p.m. at the MGM Central Race and Sports Book with Top rank Knockout.
The usual Trainers round table meeting with media has been scheduled Thursday (Friday in Manila) at 10 a.m. at the Media Center followed by the HBO PPV Undercard Fighter pres conference.
The official weigh-in is on Friday at 2:30 p.m. (Eddie G. Alinea/PhilAmPress/Philippines Today USA)
LOS ANGELES (via PhilAmPress) — A well-rested and well-equipped Manny Pacquiao motored to Las Vegas Monday (Tuesday in Manila) for the final stop of his preparations for his fight with American Timothy Bradley set this coming Saturday (Sunday in Manila) at the MGM Grand Arena in that city.
Pacquiao was on board an RV luxury van lent to him by businessman-friend Abbas Ahmadi leading a convoy of some 40 vehicles, including an air-conditioned bus that will have relatives, friends, supporters and members of media as passengers.
Accompanying Pacquiao inside the van were his Sarangani Vice Gov. wife Jinkee and their five children. The motorcade left at 4 p.m. following a light four-round sparring session that included a run at the Griffith Hills early morning.
“Excited and thrilled, that’s how I feel right now. A few days from now, laban na,” the fighting Saragani Congressman said on the eve of Team Pacquiao’s departure from here. “Ready na. Sabik na sabik na nga akong umakyat muli sa ring. Almost one year na kasing na-bakante at kailangan manalo tayo. Pipilitin natin, kondisyon naman tayo at prepardo. ” he added.
The eight-division champ spent his rest day Sunday attending church services in the morning before hosting friends and relatives in a traditional lunch at his favorite Kabuki Japanese Restaurant along Sunset Blvd. in the heart of Hollywood.
A mild altercation ensued between members of Pacquiao’s security and a Caucasian male who shouted profanities at him as he was leaving the restaurant parking lot aboard his car. No untoward incident occurred though.
He then entertained dozens of visitors and well-wishers at the family residence the whole afternoon until 10 pm.
Also scheduled Monday, according to advisory released by Magna Media, is the undercard media day workouts at 1 p.m. at the Top Rank Gym.
The traditional Grand Arrival Ceremony will be at noon on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila). The main event press conference will be held the next day 10:30 a.m. at the David Copperfield Theater inside the MGM Grand followed by the pay per-view Fighters Meet and Greet Autograph session at 2 p.m. at the MGM Central Race and Sports Book with Top rank Knockout.
The usual Trainers round table meeting with media has been scheduled Thursday (Friday in Manila) at 10 a.m. at the Media Center followed by the HBO PPV Undercard Fighter pres conference. (Eddie G. Alinea/PhilAmPress/Philippines Today USA)
LOS ANGELES (PhilAmPress) — Whatever future awaits Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao will be defined by his coming third fight with American Timothy Bradley this Saturday (Sunday in Manila) at the posh MGM Grand Arena in Ls Vegas.
This, assistant trainer and Pacquiao’s childhood friend Buboy Fernandez assured as the eight-division champion brought down the curtain of his Los Angeles camp last Saturday.
“We, in the training team, prepared him for this fight to be his last and Manny will be atop that squared ring mixing it up as if there’s no tomorrow,” Buboy told this writer following a four-round skirmish with sparring partners Ghislain Maduma and Lydell Rhodes at the Freddie Roach-owned Wild Card Gym here.
“Coach Freddie, myself and other members of the training staff (Nonoy Neri, Roger “Haplas” Fernandez and Marvin Somodio) saw to it during the entire length of the five-week camp that Manny will be performing his swan song intended to entertain the global audience,” Buboy said.
Meaning after the fight, Buboy explained, the Sarangani Congressman can make true his announcement to retire in a blaze of glory. Or he may opt to continue fighting yet still savor the love and support of those who believe in him or even the non-believers.”
“Napakaganda ng naging kabuuan ng training camp dahil alam naming lahat, pati si Manny ang aming goal. Magbigay siya ng performance na matagal nang hindi nakikita ng fans,” Buboy added.
“And to Manny’s credit, he did not disappoint us by following all our instructions to the letter,” he relayed. “Nandyan ka naman halos sa simula ng camp sa GenSan (General Santos City) kung paano siya nag-ensayo. Halos 24/7.
“Not even once did he complain. Perfect talaga ang naging takbo ng camp,” he quipped.
“That is the reason why one week pa lang before we leave for Las Vegas, Manny had already reached his peak, ready to fight,” he narrated. “Kanina nga binawasan na namin ang ensayo pagkatapos ng sparring. Dalawang round na lang each sa bag, double end at speed ball.”
“Mas mahirap pa ngang awatin si Manny sa ensayo. Alam naman natin ang work ethic niya,” he said. “But we also have to avoid over-training him. Or suffer some kind of illness that might jeopardize lahat pinaghirapan namin.”
Coach Freddie was right, Buboy attested. “Bumata si Manny ng 25 years sa training camp. At makikita nila ‘yan, pati na ang kampo ni Bradley kung paano kikilos si Manny pagdating ng laban.
Makikita natin kung paaano niya tinalo sina Oscar DeLa Hoya, Marco Antonio Barrera, Miguel Cotto and the likes” he projected.
“What do I feel? Well, I honestly think the fight won’t last the distance,” Buboy assured. (Eddie G. Alinea/PhilAmPress/Philippines Toay USA)