FORMER General Santos City native Nonito Donaire Sr. was tapped to lend his expertise and beef up Manny Pacquiao’s think-tank in preparation for the Filipino’s title bid against Lucas Matthysse on July 15 at the Axiata Arena in Malaysia.
A week after opening the training camp, Pacquiao added Donaire to help out in plotting tactical plans against Matthysse, the reigning WBA "reagular" welterweight champion from Argentina.
“Donaire will serve as one of the assistant coaches,” said Pacquiao, who did two trial rounds with the mitts with the father of former world champion Nonito Donaire Jr.
Ironically, when Pacquiao and Donaire Jr. were stablemates under Top Rank - they only fought once on the same card as there was some internal animosity - and the two boxers were under contract to rival networks in the Philippines. The tension hit a boiling point when some words were exchanged in the press between Donaire's wife, Rachel, and Pacquiao's manager Michael Koncz.
It was the older Donaire who trained his son, who later won multiple world championships in three weight divisions.
“So far, so good. I am happy with my current team,” said Pacquiao, who took two days off on Saturday and Sunday to rest and relax, coming off a controversial twelve round decision loss last July in Brisbane, Australia against local star Jeff Horn.
Pacquiao went scuba diving on Sunday and was refreshed to do his road work the morning after.
Pacquiao is trying to have an all-Filipino line-up in his bid to win his 11th world title against a formidable opponent who won by KO in 36 of his 39 wins or a whopping 92 percent ratio. Matthysse has only lost four times in his career.
Long time friend and confidant Buboy Fernandez would still act as head coach along with assistant trainer Raides “Nonoy” Neri.
Pacquiao is still about to name another team member soon, the person who will help him in his strength and conditioning.