GMA News Online
Manny Pacquiao

Roach arrives, begins workout with Pacman

March 7, 2011 9:09pm

Four-time Trainer of the Year awardee Freddie Roach arrived in the country at dawn of Tuesday for the official start of Manny Pacquiao’s eight-week training for his May 7 showdown against Sugar Shane Mosley in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Accompanying Roach, who just turned 51 last Saturday, in the 13-hour flight from Los Angeles is reigning World Boxing Association (WBA) light-welterweight champion Amir Khan and regular Pacquiao sparmates David Rodela and Shawn Porter.

Khan is expected to join the 32-year-old boxing superstar in training camp as he is also preparing for an April 16 defense of his 140-lbs belt against Paul McCloskey in Manchester, England.

Both Pacquiao and Khan are part of Roach’s stable of champion fighters.

Roach and the rest of the entourage will stay for a week in Manila where the first of the projected eight-week training for the Mosley fight is going to be held.

It is not clear yet where the boxer turned congressman from the province of Sarangani will be training initially, but it will be subject to Roach's decision.

A boxing gym in Makati or the Elorde training facility in Quezon City are the likely choices for Team Pacquiao.

The Elorde gym in Quezon City was where Pacquiao conducted the first week of his training when he fought Mexican Antonio Margarito the last time, before the group proceeded to the country’s summer capital where they continued training for the next three weeks.

Pacquiao has began to sweat it out as early as last week, engaging in early morning roadwork, playing basketball in the afternoon, and doing some mitts with long-time trainer Buboy Fernandez.

The reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion said he has to informally begin his training, as Mosley would not be just a so-so opponent.

“Mahirap na," Pacquiao said shortly after serving as main speaker and guest of honor in the PSA Annual Awards Night Saturday at the Manila Hotel.

“Hindi mo masabi ang boksing. Dapat handa ka kasi sigurado handing-handa rin si Mosley," added the Filipino southpaw, who is a 6-2 favorite to beat the ageing 39-year-old American in their welterweight showdown at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas two months from now.

Challenging for Pacquiao’s 147-pound title, Mosley has already begun preparing for the match, setting up his training camp in Big Bear, California under the watchful supervision of trainer Nazeem Richardson.

Team Pacquiao is expected to stay in Baguio until the second week of April, when Pacquiao proceeds to Los Angeles for the remainder of the camp to be held at the famed Wild Card gym.

Roach and Khan, however, will be going straight to England for the fight against McCloskey. - KY, RCJ, GMA News

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