Pacquiao goes savage mode in sparring

Roy Luarca
Pacquiao goes savage mode in sparring
The Filipino boxing legend wobbles sparring partner Arnold Gonzalez thrice and nearly finishes off the amateur standout



HOLLYWOOD, USA – For 3 times there in sparring, Manny Pacquiao got into savage mood.

He wobbled Arnold Gonzalez with a left straight in the 3rd round and was about to finish the amateur standout off, prompting chief trainer Buboy Fernandez to shout, “Huwag (Don’t).”

Luckily, Pacquiao heard him and eased up, allowing Gonzalez to recover his bearing and go on to last the 4 rounds session closing the eight-division world champion’s sparring drills for his first defense of the World Boxing Association welterweight crown against Adrien Broner on Saturday, January 19, (Sunday, January 20, Manila time).

No wonder, Fernandez was visibly pleased as he recounted the sparring session held behind closed doors at Wild Card Boxing Club here Saturday afternoon.

Pinahinto ko muna, kasi nakita ko gusto niya tapusin na. Naka-engaged na siya (I stopped it because I saw he (Pacquiao) was already engaged and wanted to finish him (Gonzalez) off.

And it happened, not once, not twice, but thrice, according to Fernandez.

IN TRAINING. Arnold Gonzalez is also gearing up for his pro debut. Photo by Roy Luarca/Rappler


Gonzalez, a two-time Golden Gloves welterweight champion who’s making his pro debut against a yet to be named opponent on February 23, later confirmed what transpired in the ring.

“Today was the hardest he hit me the whole camp,” said Gonzalez, who sparred a total of 24 rounds with Pacquiao in the United States. “Manny is always very sharp, but today was his sharpest.”

After the two-hour workout was over, Fernandez and assistant trainer Nonoy Neri exchanged happy notes with Pacquiao’s performance.

“I couldn’t ask for more. All I wanted him to do in our game plan, he did today,”said Fernandez, citing in particular Pacquio’s countering whenever his opponent throws a jab.

“He doesn’t need to wait. He must initiate action even if we are the champion,” said Fernandez in Filipino. “We must go inside right away and not allow Broner to get into form. With caution, of course, because Broner has a good counter left hook and right straight.

“All that we worked for (during training camp) was there already.”

Pacquiao, of course, will only unravel the whole package on fight night. –


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