by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Manny Pacquiao sparred ten rounds at the Wild Card Gym on Saturday, and according to strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza “it went relatively well.”
In an interview with BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard, Ariza said that although the sparring went well “every day is not going to be the best day, but it went relatively well.”
Ariza said Pacquiao went four rounds with Russian welterweight Ruslan Provodnikov (21-1, 14 KO’s) and another four rounds with lightweight Rustam Nugaev (22-6-1, 12 KO’s) and two rounds with who the strength and conditioning coach refereed to as “the young black kid whose first name is Kevin” but whose family name he didn’t know.
Ariza said Pacquiao “is not backing off” and was physically in good shape at the end of the sparring session although Ariza clarified “I thought he looked phenomenal on Tuesday, I thought he looked phenomenal on Thursday but he looked okay today.”
The strength and conditioning coach pointed out that “hopefully they will recognize that this is the time when we start to push too hard close to the fight and we end up sliding backwards.”
Ariza said he would like to see Pacquiao “give boxing a little bit of a break” stating that since he’s been sparring well he should “take a few days off and go do something else” pushing for a greater effort in Pacquiao’s physical conditioning program.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum who made a quick visit to Los Angeles to check on how Pacquiao was doing told us “Manny looked fine and he’s coming along great” in preparation for his showdown against undefeated junior welterweight Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on June 9.
Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz said the sparring on Saturday went “fine, fabulous.”