By Ronnie Nathanielsz
“Fighter of the Decade” Manny Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KO’s) sparred six rounds at the Wild Card Gym on Thursday against two Russian sparring partners and looked good.
His strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard after Pacquiao sparred with tough Russian Welterweight Ruslan Provodnikov who has a record of 21-1 with 14 knockouts and undefeated Russian super featherweight Evgeny Chuparako that Pacquiao “is right now at his peak but we’ve got to slow him down.”
Ariza did concede they had a problem with Pacquiao who “just keep pushing and pushing and pushing. That’s Manny Pacquiao.”
The strength and conditioning coach who is credited with having harnessed Pacquiao’s explosiveness joked that you can’t have everything in life, ”not with Manny Pacquiao.”
In fact he’d like Pacquiao to end sparring after his final session on Saturday but there are plans for the eight division world champion to spar four rounds on Monday before leaving in a convoy for Las Vegas and the MGM Grand Garden Arena where he will put his WBO welterweight title on the line against undefeated junior welterweight champion Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley (28-0, 12 KO’s) on June 9 which is Sunday, June 10 in Manila.
Pacquiao himself said that training camp both in the Philippines summer capital of Baguio City and at Roach’s Wild Card Gym in LA has been good and pronounced “I am ready.”
The daily Bible study classes have further strengthened the religious beliefs of Pacquiao whose amazing change in lifestyle has been a revelation. Looking ahead to the Bradley fight Pacquiao said . “God is the only one who gives me strength and power every day. I trained hard for this fight. We did our best in training camp I am ready. Everything is in the hands of God.”
Meantime, World Boxing Council president Don Jose Sulaiman recalled that Pacquiao’s first world title was the WBC flyweight crown which he won with a spectacular 8th round knockout of Thai hero Chatchai Sasakul on December 3, 1998 in Thailand and had won many other titles including the very first WBC Diamond belt when he stopped Miguel Cotto in the 12th round after dropping his twice earlier in the fight.
Sulaiman said he is “very happy” about the new lifestyle of Pacquiao because he said “I root for him. I admire him and speak with pride about Manny as a WBC champion.”Tags: Timothy Bradley , Manny Pacquiao , Pacquiao-Bradley , Pacquiao vs Bradley