By Ronnie Nathanielsz
General Santos City - Manny Pacquiao looked awesome during a grueling three-hour workout at the Wild Card Gym of GSC and seemed every inch like the "Fighter of the Decade."
After running on the track for ten laps at the Acharon Sports Complex this morning Pacquiao sparred eight rounds with undefeated Ghana welterweight Fredrick Lawson and Britsh light middleweight Liam Vaughan who both were at the receiving end of devastating combinations that brought a pained expression to their faces.
Pacquiao caught the lanky Lawson with a looping left and sent him reeling backwards against the ropes even as his knees buckled before nailing Vaughan with a vicious left that ripped into the Brit's solar plexus and took the wind out of him.
To the credit of the 23 year old British prospect he stood his ground and challenged Pacquiao to engage him some more despite the fact that he described the punch as a "killer blow."
Vaughan told ABS/CBN 's Dyan Castillejo and this reporter that "I fight to the end and I told Manny to bring it on again because as a sparring partner I am supposed to help him."
He said Pacquiao was "the best he's ever been. He's on fire. I have never been hit like that in my life." even as he predicted that Pacquiao "will knock out Rios with his body shots."
Pacquiao went through a demanding routine which included plyometric exercises that awed the media people gathered to watch him train although no video or photos were allowed of the sparring and the plyometric regimen.
Pacquiao told us that his heavy training today was "our capital for the fight" against Brandon "Bam Bam" Rios in the "Clash in Cotai" for the WBO International welterweight title in Macau on November 24.
Determined to regain his status as an elite fighter following his 6th round knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez last December 8, Pacquiao vowed , "we will do everything we need to do, we need to sacrifice, to win this fight.
Trainer Freddie Roach said that with just over a month to go before the Rios fight, "it was th best day yet. He started to get the game-plan going, he showed his speed and connected with different combinations and didn't get tired. His timing was also really good. Overall it was very good."