UNDEFEATED American Lydell Rhodes was impressed by the power of former pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao in the first day of their sparring session on Wednesday in General Santos, according to PacMan’s long-time adviser Mike Koncz.
“Manny wants to prove that he really wants a different outcome in this fight,” Koncz told The Manila Times in a phone inter- view. “Rhodes is very impressed because he never expects Manny to engage him in different angles.”
Rhodes (19-0 win-loss slate with nine knockouts) sparred with Pacquiao (55-5-2 win-loss-draw record with 38 knockouts) for four rounds pushing the American boxer to his limits.
“I was surprised and it was really good [the sparring session],” Rhodes, 26, told GMA7 News TV reporter Mav Gonzales on Wednesday. “Manny is in better shape, moves faster and stronger than I thought he’d be. We’re doing very well and we’re making some adjustments. We have a game plan.”
Pacquiao, 35, is set for a rematch with unbeaten World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Timothy Bradley on April 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquiao lost to Bradley in a controversial split decision in June 2012.
“I like what I saw in our first day on the job,” the 52-year-old Freddie Roach told philboxing.com. “Our goal is to win by knockout and I think it is possible.”
The five-time trainer of the year has scheduled a thrice a week sparring sessions for Pacquiao until the team leave the Philippines for his Wildcard gym in California, anytime in the first week of March.