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Pacquiao vs Margarito

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Friday, October 1, 2010

Pacquiao spars 4 rounds against Margarito mimic

MANILA, Philippines – “Fighter of the Decade” Manny Pacquiao kicked off his sparring sessions on Thursday, testing his might against training partner Glen Tapia of the United States.

The closed-door sparring session took place at the Shape Up Gym in Cooyesan Hotel in Baguio City, where Pacquiao squared off against his 5’11” American spar mate.

“It was great work. Glen Tapia gave me exactly what I wanted,” said Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, after emerging from training.

Pacquiao is preparing for his November 13 super welterweight fight against Mexico’s Antonio Margarito.

The Filipino skipped his usual jogging routine on Thursday morning to prepare himself for the 4-round sparring session.

Roach said Pacquiao performed well against Tapia, who also wields a big right hand like the 5’11” Margarito.

Tapia boasts of more than 100 victories in his amateur career. He also holds 5 knockouts on 7 wins as a pro.

Roach said that the sparring session with Tapia revealed the needed adjustments Pacquiao has to take against Margarito.

Tapia, on the other hand, said he felt Pacquiao's punching power.

The Filipino champ is confident that he'll be in tip top shape before his fight day against Margarito at the Cowboys Stadium in Texas.

“Nakukuha naman namin yung gusto nating kuning condition. Mahaba pa ang panahon natin, tiyak na makukuha natin ang 100 percent condition,” said Pacquiao.

His next sparring date will be on Saturday.

Also serving as the Filipino’s spar mate is Michael Medina, a 6-feet bruiser from Mexico with similar boxing style as Margarito.

It was also reported that Team Pacquiao is expecting the arrival of middleweight contender Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., who will also spar with the Filipino.

Chavez Jr. is the son of Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez.


Pacquiao Must Avoid Margarito's Trap

BAGUIO CITY — Freddie Roach wants Manny Pacquiao to turn Antonio Margarito into a virtual punching bag on Nov. 13 at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas.

In another sizzling session at the Shape Up Boxing Gym on Naguillan Road on Friday afternoon, Roach and Pacquiao continued to exchange notes on how to beat Margarito with the master emphasizing movement and the pupil acknowledging it.

“Don’t stay in front of him because he will hit you,” Roach told the Filipino pound-for pound king in between hitting the mitts.

Roach said Margarito will invite Pacquiao into a trap by giving him the green light to unleash combinations but Pacquiao has to be extra-careful after doing so because Margarito will counter as soon as he unloads.

Pacquiao did what he was told but the student added another dimension to the game plan, showing his teacher how to cleverly evade punches while hitting with pin-point accuracy.

“Good, Manny,” said Roach, whose accent is on preventing Margarito from loading as much as he possibly could.

“Don’t take two punches in order to land three,” said Roach, stressing that Pacquiao can easily win the scheduled 12-round fight for the vacant World Boxing Council super-welterweight crown without taking punishment from the Mexican mauler.

“Move, move away,” hollered Roach as Pacquiao wisely switched punching positions, spots where he could strike Margarito cleanly on the head and body.

“He will fall for you,” said Roach, assuring Pacquiao that the slow-footed Margarito will always find himself in an awkward position to be struck by one of Pacquiao's power shots.

Pacquiao did a total of 13 rounds with the mitts, taking a break only after the 12th round.

Before reporting to the gym, Pacquiao did his morning roadwork in a rugged portion of a village located off the beaten path.

Since Pacquiao is scheduled to hold his second sparring session on Saturday, he will jog at Burnham Park.

Pacquiao actually went four rounds with Glen Tapia, a Dominican Republic native from New Jersey instead of Michael Medina and Medina said the session was intense and Tapia gave a good account of himself.


Pacman aching but getting better each day

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – After a good day of sparring last Thursday, Manny Pacquiao worked even harder on and off the ring yesterday.

The pound-for-pound champion was out early in the morning for a 30-minute run inside one of the golf courses here, and by 2 p.m. he was at the Shape Up Gym for a rigorous two-hour workout.

Pacquiao was limbering up when he said his body was aching as a result of four rounds of sparring with Glen Tapia, pointing to his legs, his arms and body, and saying “it just aches all over.”

But it didn’t really show when he worked the mitts with Freddie Roach for 14 rounds non-stop.

Roach tried to mimic Pacquiao’s opponent on Nov. 13, Antonio Margarito, and paid dearly for it when he took a couple of shots from the heavy-handed southpaw, who sometimes went after him like he was out to put him down.

At one point, Pacquiao accidentally landed a punch right on his trainer’s face, but was quick to apologize. Roach, a former fighter himself, simply laughed it off, later saying he’s gotten used to getting hit nowadays.

“Yeah, he got me there,” said Roach, who a few days ago, at the Elorde Gym in Quezon City, hit the canvas after getting caught with a hard shove and lost his balance.

Roach said Pacquiao will spar with Michael Medina today before motoring to Manila for his daughter’s birthday before sundown. He promised to be back late Sunday so he could resume working out on Monday.

“He also said he misses his job,” said Roach of the fighting congressman from lone district of Sarangani. “I really thought of giving him a day off tomorrow because of all the hard work but now we need to work.”

Roach is just making sure that if Pacquiao overstays in Manila, there won’t be too much of a lull.

“Breaks are over,” said his strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza.

Overall, however, Roach is happy with the way the camp is going.

“It’s just our fifth day here in Baguio and I like it where we are right now. Glen Tapia did very, very good in sparring yesterday. He fights like Margarito with his right and he’s cocky,” said Roach.

“And he tried to get the best out of Manny yesterday. I love that because Manny will pay him back. I will give Medina a shot tomorrow. And I see another good day of sparring,” added the celebrated trainer.

His face was red as Baguio tomatoes after the non-stop session with the mitts, and often- times he was heard telling Pacquiao what kind of a fighter Margarito is, and how he should be handled.

They worked a lot on throwing punches from different angles, and how to get out of the ropes once the moment he touches them, how to avoid getting clipped by Margarito’s elbows, or by a headbutt.

“Remember, he’s not always pressing. Sometimes he’ll wait for you so he can give something in return. And I don’t want you to fall into the trap,” said Roach, adding that he spent a lot of time the other day watching Margarito’s fights.

He said he saw eight of those fights, including four against southpaws, and noticed a very strong similarity in each of them.

“When he throws, he throws wide. And he needs to set up with his legs,” observed Roach, confident that Pacquiao will get the 5-foot-11 Mexican even before he could throw his punches.

“We’ll knock him out,” Roach promised.


Margarito will be destroyed like Hatton

MANILA, Philippines - There’s no doubt in Manny Pacquiao’s assistant trainer
Buboy Fernandez’ mind that Antonio Margarito will go down like Ricky Hatton when the Mexican warrior faces the Filipino icon for the vacant WBC superwelterweight title at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Nov. 13.

“I’m not worried at all,” said Fernandez. “I’m not nervous. Once Margarito feels Manny’s power, it will just be a matter of time. He’s going out like Hatton. Margarito is slow and doesn’t know how to cut the ring off. Manny’s stronger than ever. He wants to knock out Margarito early. He’s been talking about it, how he’ll bring him down. I can see it now – Manny knocking out Margarito with a left hook then (chuckling) getting a cash advance for his next fight.”

Fernandez, 35, has seen Pacquiao metamorphose from a 106-pound rookie in 1995 to the world’s No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter today, the only man ever to win seven championships in seven weight divisions. If Pacquiao disposes of Margarito, he will annex his eighth world crown in as many classes.

“Manny’s at his peak,” said Fernandez who grew up with Pacquiao in General Santos City. “He’s not showing any signs of slowing down. I don’t think he’s retiring soon. The way I see it, Manny will keep on fighting even when he becomes a senator. As a Congressman, he hasn’t changed. He trains even harder in the gym, realizing the high expectations of the fans. Others change after winning the championship, they’re no longer hungry, they get lazy. Not Manny.”

Fernandez said Pacquiao, a southpaw, has already figured out with chief trainer Freddie Roach how to break down the right-handed Tijuana Tornado.

“Margarito likes to throw the left jab then an uppercut to the body and finally, a straight – that’s his usual combination,” said Fernandez. “Manny will fight him like Oscar de la Hoya and a bit like how he fought Miguel Cotto and Hatton. His main weapon will be the left hand. When Margarito throws the jab, Manny will slide to his right and counter with a left to the body or to the head. Margarito has a tendency to bring down his hands after throwing a jab. He’ll be wide open for Manny’s left – just like Hatton was.”

Fernandez said Margarito’s 4 1/2-inch height advantage won’t make a difference.

“Manny finds it easier to hit a taller opponent like a De la Hoya,” said Fernandez. “He finds it harder to connect on a fighter who’s either his size or a little shorter. Juan Manuel Marquez knew that. You remember when he fought Manny, he bent his head down so he would be as tall as Manny and harder to hit. Manny has a little difficulty with quick counter-punchers. But Margarito is neither quick nor a counter-puncher.”

Fernandez said with Roach in his corner, Pacquiao is in good hands.

“I think even (Margarito’s trainer) Robert Garcia acknowledges that Freddie’s the best trainer in the world today,” said Fernandez. “Nobody’s better than Freddie. I don’t know too much about Garcia. Some of his fighters have sparred with Manny and there’s no comparison. I’ve learned a lot from Freddie. He’s the type who’s not stingy in sharing his knowledge. You’ll have to be very dense not to learn from Freddie when he’s teaching you.”

Pacquiao’s Canadian adviser Michael Koncz said there’s no stopping Pacman.

“He’s enjoying what he’s doing,” said Koncz. “Once he stops enjoying and boxing becomes work, he’ll quit. At the moment, he gets hungrier after every victory. He doesn’t let up. In the gym, he outlasts everyone. His motivation is he wants to prove he can still perform at a high level as a fighting congressman.”

Fernandez said it doesn’t matter whom Pacquiao faces in the ring.

“Even if Manny fights someone he’s beaten before like Cotto, the fans will come out to watch him,” said Fernandez. “Never mind his opponent. Fans want to see how Manny fights, if he’s still as explosive now that he’s a congressman. Fans want to see if he’s changed. It’s Manny whom the fans pay money to watch, not his opponent. He’s the draw, nobody else.”

Fernandez said Pacquiao won’t likely venture beyond the superwelterweight class in his career.

“There’s a limit to his body growth,” said Fernandez. “I think he’ll stop at superwelterweight (154 pounds). But after Margarito, there are many more competitive fights out there for Manny. Andre Berto, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Paul Williams are tough opponents. Of course, there’s Floyd Mayweather, too. Manny will beat them all. This is his time.”

Pacquiao needs to fight smart vs Margarito -- Roach

BAGUIO CITY – Unlike the last time when he was virtually untouched against Joshua Clottey, Manny Pacquiao should know only too well that he has to fight smart against an opponent of the caliber of Antonio Margarito.

Conscious of the Mexican’s noted punching prowess, trainer Freddie Roach has reminded the Filipino world boxing champion to constantly move inside the ring and not allow himself to be caught with the solid 1-2 punches Margarito has been known for.

For 13 tough rounds over the mitts on Friday, Roach emphasized the importance of not allowing himself to stay in front of the 5-foot-11 Mexican or even get cornered on the ropes.

“Don’t stay in front of him because he will hit you," Roach hollered during the weekend training at the Cooyesan hotel here.

Pacquiao had the luxury of staying on his feet when he fought Clottey the last time at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas where his Nov. 13 title bout with Margarito will also be held. After all, the 31-year-old challenger from Ghana hardly threw any punches, content with covering his face with both hands.

But it won't be the same with Margarito.

“Don’t take two punches in order to land three," Roach reminded Pacquiao when the world’s top pound-for-pound fighter got a little lax during one stretch of their mitts session.

For 12 straight rounds, Roach and Pacquiao went through a furious mitts session, taking only a break prior to the 13th and last round.

“Move, move away," Roach told Pacquiao.

The 31-year-old Filipino ring idol is expected to spar for the second time in training camp today, probably against Michael Medina after going four rounds with Glen Tapia Thursday.

Roach initially liked what he saw.

“He’s not yet 100 percent obviously, but his rhythm is already there," said the four-time Trainer of the Year.

But Tapia, a native of Dominican Republic and now based in New Jersey, also did well in his first sparring session with the world’s best boxer today.

“Glen did better than I expected," said Medina, who bought two large boxes of pizza as his way of acknowledging the job well done by his buddy.

"I had cheese, while Glen had pepperoni," he added. - KY/RCJ, GMANews.TV