SINGAPORE — Former Pound-for-Pound kingpin Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao suffered a slight ankle injury while playing basketball over the weekend. While there are no reports on the severity of the accident, the Filipino boxing icon dismissed its importance.
Pacquiao, who lost both of his bouts last year, has made a habit of playing nightly basketball games be it in or out of training. Against his esteemed head trainer’s wishes, Pacquiao continues to cross-train without fear of suffering a freak accident that could possibly jeopardize his scheduled 12-rounder with opponent Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios this November.
“Hindi kasi ako naka-suot ng ankle support (I wasn’t wearing ankle support),” said Pacquiao, in a recent interview with Dyan Castillejo of ABS-CBN News.
Getting back into shape
Pacquiao decided to kick training camp off early to get back in shape, perhaps realizing the importance of putting on a good show in his next outing. He’s been getting back into the groove with long-time assistant trainer and friend, Buboy Fernandez.
The official training camp isn’t due to commence until a little more than a month or so later, when Freddie Roach arrives in General Santos City on October 6, but it hasn’t stopped Pacquiao from picking up the pace.
According to Pacquiao however, the recent ankle injury wasn’t his first rodeo. “It’s not the first time. It’s okay,” said the former welterweight champion of the world.
For the first time in his career, Pacquiao suffered back-to-back losses and subsequently came out winless in 2012.
Trying to prove himself
“That’s what I’m trying to prove to the people on November 24,” said Pacquiao when asked if he was still an elite fighter. “It’s hard to say right now, but I’m doing my best in training to show them.”
When Pacquiao steps inside the ring with Rios this November, it will be just a little over a week shy of a year since he was last in action. Pacquiao hasn’t fought since losing by a brutal knockout to rival Juan Manuel Marquez last December 8, 2012.
The pride of the Philippines, nevertheless, is excited to get back to boxing.
“It’s a good fight, a good test and my opponent is good and very aggressive,” said Pacquiao, who also did not rule out a knockout victory for himself.
“It depends of course. In my last fight [vs. Marquez] I learned a lot and I need to apply that in training.”
Hopefully, the recent injury won’t hinder Pacquiao’s training regimen as he prepares for what could be the most significant fight in his career. – Rappler.com