• Pacquiao begins training for Rios fight

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    Manny Pacquiao (right) works the mitts with trainer Buboy Fernandez. AFP FILE PHOTO

    FORMER world pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao has started his training for his November 24 comeback fight against Mexican-American Brandon “Bam-Bam” Rios at the Cotai Arena, Venetian Hotel in Macau, China.

    Pacquiao’s long time lawyer Franklin Gacal told The Manila Times on Tuesday that the eighth weight world division champion is now beginning conditioning work to get himself ready for the intense formal training under his mentor Freddie Roach.

    “As far as I know, Manny has started his training and conditioning regimen,” Gacal said in a phone interview. “Honestly, I have no any idea what is happening out there but I’m pretty sure, he is eager to get back this year.”

    Gacal added that Roach’s assistant trainer and Pacquiao’s childhood friend Buboy Fernandez is the one presiding over Pacquiao’s preliminary training somewhere in General Santos. It is mainly light workouts that include hitting the heavy and speed bags as well as roadwork.

    “Buboy and his group are still handling Pacquiao’s training and everything goes well in their training,” said Gacal. “I believe Manny will able to redeem himself this year after suffering defeats from American Timothy Bradley and Mexican rival Juan Manuel Marquez last year.”

    Bradley scored a split decision win in July 2012 while Marquez knocked out the 34-year-old Pacquiao in the sixth round of their fourth encounter in December last year.

    Gacal also confirmed that Roach has already hired a new strength and conditioning coach to replace Alex Ariza.

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