Pacquiao flies to US for last phase of training

Manny Pacquiao (left) works the mitts with trainer and friend Buboy Fernandez. AFP PHOTO

Manny Pacquiao (left) works the mitts with trainer and friend Buboy Fernandez. AFP PHOTO

Manny Pacquiao and his camp will be arriving in Los Angeles, California, today for the last phase of his training for his November 5 fight against World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Jessie Vargas at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Pacquiao’s longtime friend and Freddie Roach’s assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez described the eight-division world champion as nearing top condition.

“Manny is now 95 percent and we are just going to add five percent more when we train at the Wildcard gym,” Fernandez told The Manila Times at the Elorde gym in Pasay City.

Fernandez said that they are aiming to complete the number of Pacquiao’s sparring rounds at the Wildcard gym, “One hundred fifteen sparring rounds will be completed in Los Angeles. We will resume the sparring in LA before heading to Las Vegas a week before the fight,” he said.

Fernandez added that Pacquiao would have no problem adapting to US weather. “We don’t have any problem about acclimatization. The recovery will be fast for Pacquiao since our training here in Manila was in the evening. Pacquiao’s speed and power of course will be there normally.”

Fernandez said that they have prepared a good game plan against Vargas (27-1 win-loss record with 10 knockouts) but added they are not eager to score a fast knockout. He explained that what is more important is to make Pacquiao physically and mentally ready for the fight.

“If he doesn’t engage, we have a game plan how to cut him inside the ring. If he fights toe-to-toe, we have also another fight plan. I’m confident this fight won’t last [long]. I believe knockout will come so Jessie (Vargas) must be careful.”

Pacquiao (58-6-2 win-loss-draw record with 38 knockouts) sparred for a couple of rounds against Jose Ramirez before leaving for California.


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