• Rhodes preferred as sparmate for Pacquiao

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    Manny Pacquiao’s Canadian adviser, Mike Koncz, has brought in unbeaten American Lydell Rhodes as the Filipino fighter’s sparmate for his upcoming rematch against American Timothy Bradley on April 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas USA.

    Koncz also denied the news from the Pacquiao camp that Puerto Rican welterweight Miguel Cotto has been lined up as one of Pacquiao’s sparring partners in his training camp in General Santos. Pacquiao defeated Cotto in 2009 via technical knockout.

    “I have no any idea where they got that Cotto rumor. We just brought only the best sparmate for Manny and that’s Rhodes,” Koncz told the Manila Times in a phone interview from General Santos Wednesday. “There are also other sparmates available and we will announce it soon.”

    Koncz, who arrived with Rhodes from the US last Sunday, said the 35-year-old Pacquiao (55-5-1 win-loss-draw slate with 38 knockouts) is hitting the heavy bag and doing a lot running to condition himself with the fight less than three months away.

    “He is getting better and better everyday,” Koncz added. “The arrival of Rhodes will also help him a lot and we’re expecting Manny to become faster and stronger as the fight comes near. So far, we doesn’t see any problem now.”

    Rhodes (19-0 win-loss record with nine knockouts) agreed with many boxing observers that Pacquiao holds the definite advantage over the reigning World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Bradley (31-0 slate with 12 knockouts).

    “Manny has a lot of speed and power although Bradley improves a lot,” Rhodes, a former student of Floyd Mayweather Sr., told philboxing.com in an interview. “Manny does everything and he has the experience too.”

    Rhodes also believes that Pacquiao won the first fight against Bradley last June 2012. Bradley, however, scored a split decision victory.

    JOSEF T. RAMOS

     

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