Pacquiao right on target, chips Fernandez’s tooth

Roy Luarca

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Pacquiao right on target, chips Fernandez’s tooth
In a burst of adrenaline rush during training, Pacquiao flicks his fist a bit too fast and hits trainer Buboy Fernandez

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Debunking notions that Lucas Matthysse is having difficulty making weight, trainer Joel Diaz maintains the Argentine is just two pounds over a day before the official weigh-in of the Fight of Champions Saturday morning, July 14.

Diaz insists weight has never been an issue as his ward was only a few pounds over the past few weeks when they trained in Indio, California, and arrived here last Thursday.

“We train for the fight, not the weight, “said Diaz.

For Buboy Fernandez, Manny Pacquiao’s chief trainer, however, weight is an important component of the Pacquiao-Matthysse tussle for the World Boxing Association welterweight crown.

Though he doubts if the champion is only two pounds over, having seen the Argentine go to the sauna Tuesday evening, Fernandez feels Matthysse will still make weight.

What Fernandez is curious about is Matthysse’s capability to rehydrate on Sunday.

Baka hindi niya (Matthysse) ma-control magpalaki on the day of the fight (He might have difficulty controlling his weight on the day of the fight),” said Fernandez, who believes it will work to Pacquiao’s advantage if the Argentine bloats to 160 pounds when he enters the ring.

On Thursday, Matthysse said he is focused on training and resting at the same time.

“The training is to make sure I’m on weight. I do enough to stay on weight because most of the work was done during camp,” said Matthysse. “It’s about maintaining weight and fine-tuning the plan. I’m resting a lot as well and getting good sleep. I’m at peace with my mind right now.”

The same thing can be said of Pacquiao as he is sure to make weight.

Pacquiao weighs 145 pounds the past two weeks and Fernandez wants the eight-division world champion to stay that way.

On fight day, however, Fernandez thinks 148 to 149 pounds would be ideal for Pacquiao.

Three pounds okay na yan, mas mabilis pa tayo (Three pounds is already okay and he’s even quicker),” Fernandez told Filipino sportswriters.

Knowing that Pacquiao is already in optimum condition after their rigorous eight weeks of preparations in General Santos City, Fernandez charted a very light training program for the Fighting Senator here.

After an early morning jog, training officially ended Friday afternoon with Fernandez doing three rounds of mitts with Pacquiao.

In a burst of adrenaline rush, Pacquiao flicked his fist a bit too fast and caught Fernandez on the chin, leaving a chipped tooth.

It stunned Fernandez, but he grinned afterwards.

The jogging and mitts sessions were intended to loosen up Pacquiao’s muscles and keep his mind in focus for the fight.

Fernandez now knows Pacquiao is right on target. –

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