Justin Fortune, the strength and conditioning coach of eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao said that there is nothing to worry about the cramps that occurred while the Filipino ring icon was sparring on Tuesday in preparation for his upcoming November 5 bout against World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Jessie Vargas at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
“He (Manny) really needs to drink a lot of water and needs to increase potassium and magnesium intake,” Fortune told The Manila Times in an interview on Tuesday. “It (cramps) is not serious and that’s not an injury. I’m not worried.”
Fortune said that eating bananas would not be enough to meet Pacquiao’s requirement for Potassium, “Not really banana. It takes a few hours to digest a banana in the body while potassium powder has 50 times more potassium than a banana,” he said.
Prior to his sparring session at the Elorde Gym in Pasay City, the 37-year-old Pacquiao (58-6-2 win-loss-draw record with 38 knockouts) played basketball and had a long run in the morning.
“What important is he knows already what he did wrong and it happened today, not in the fight,” said Fortune.
“That’s a minor issue I mean. There’s always things that popped up in the training camp,” added Pacquiao’s personal adviser Mike Koncz. “We had cramps before. He played basketball and did sprint in the morning, so it is not an issue.”
Pacquiao’s assistant trainer Jonathan Peñalosa told The Times that the boxer was able to finish his eighth-round sparring session with former Olympian Jose Ramirez despite the cramps that started in the sixth round.
“He suffered cramps in the sixth round but the good thing was he didn’t stop,” said Peñalosa, the older brother of former world champion Gerry Peñalosa. “He still sparred well and I believe he needs a little amount of rest. It’s nothing.”
Pacquiao’s sparring session is scheduled every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.