by Ronnie Nathanielsz
“Fighter of the Decade” Manny Pacquiao sparred eleven rounds earlier this week against three separate opponents at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles which celebrated trainer Freddie Roach described as “a great day.”
In a telephone conversation with BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard, Roach said Pacquiao sparred against rugged Russian welterweight Ruslan Provodnikov (21-1, 14 KO’s) , lightweight Rustam Nugaev (22-6-1, 12 KO’s) and 21 year old super featherweight Kevin Hoskins (6-1, 4 KO’s).
Roach said Pacquiao’s “timing, his distance, combinations were perfect and he threw a lot of punches today. He was very active and he could turn it on whenever he wanted. He looked really good today.”
The trainer plans to have Pacquiao work on the punch-mitts on Wednesday and then spar twelve rounds on Thursday before “going back to ten rounds on Saturday and then next week we’ll go eight, six and four rounds.”
Roach reiterated that while Pacquiao is dedicated to his Bible studies, they “still work hard every day. On the mitts he punches the shit out of me every day like normal and when he hits me he says he’s sorry then he hits me again. Nothing’s changed, believe me.”
Despite being extremely pleased with Pacquiao’s performance Roach conceded that undefeated junior welterweight champion Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley is no pushover. He said “we know that but Manny’s speed and power will be a little too much for him.”
He noted that Bradley “comes forward and I think he’s made to order for Manny.”
Meantime, in what has been billed as a battle of pound for pound box office attractions, the eight division world champion and congressman from the lone district of Sarangani province and television’s late night comedy king Jimmy Kimmel will join hands for the sixth time in their series of entertaining appearances before a jam-packed audience that dates back to November 3, 2009.
Kimmel, the self-proclaimed “lucky rabbit’s foot” of the Filipino crossover superstar has had Pacquiao as a guest before every fight dating back to his successful challenge of then WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto whom he dropped twice en route to a 12th round TKO victory.
On that first appearance Pacquiao sang the Dan Hill ballad “Sometimes When We Touch” with rave reviews leading to a remake of the song with Hill. It rose to a top ten spot on the music charts in America for some four weeks.