By JM Siasat
Filipino welterweight Dan Nazareno (17-10, 13KO) has been making a buzz in the boxing community as of late due to the contribution he has giving when exchanging punches with Manny Pacquiao. Nazareno, a former PABA light welterweight title holder was commended by Freddie Roach himself for the "good job" he has done when working with the pound for pound icon during training camp.
Born to a professional boxer, Nazareno never trained to box until he was 16 years old. Pacquiao was making a name in the USA when he was randomly asked by his father if he wanted to try boxing. The confident Nazareno simply replied "Ok pa, I got nothing to lose". Without a single amateur bout under his belt, the Pampanga native travelled to Metro Manila and began training on May 8, 2006. Seven months later, Nazareno made his professional debut and won via 4th round TKO.
"When I won my pro debut, I told myself, I'll go on with this. There's no quitting now" said Nazareno. He can also recall how tough it was when he started, "I was always getting beat up since I had no amateur background and knew nothing. I eventually learned as I went on due to my hard work" remembers Nazareno.
Other than Pacquiao, Nazareno is a regular sparring partner of Dennis Laurente and also worked the likes of Michael Farenas. While in Pacquiao's training camp, Nazareno gets paid 5000php ($116) per sparring session with a 10,000php ($232) weekly allowance, a quite handsome payday given the living conditions in the Philippines.
"They like me because I'm brave and I can emulate Rios' style" said Nazareno. He refers to Pacquiao as "kuya" (big brother) and has nothing but praises for him. "Of all the guys I sparred with, kuya has the most power and speed. His punches hurt, his hands and feet are fast".
With 10 losses on his record, Nazareno is hopeful yet realistic about his future as a professional. He no longer fancies his chance of being a world champion because of having "many defeats". He says that he wants to save enough money to build his own business then quit boxing.
According to some sources, Nazareno will fight Liam Vaughan (8-1, 2KO) on the Pacquiao-Rios undercard at 154lbs.