TRAINING  FOR  OCT  6:  ROACH  WANTS  TOUGHER  GRIND  FOR  PACQUIAO

MANILA, AUGUST 15, 2007
(STAR) By Abac Cordero Wednesday, August 15, 2007 With only 52 days before the fight, Manny Pacquiao has no other choice but work doubly hard as he trains for an Oct. 6 rematch with Marco Antonio Barrera in Las Vegas.

“We just have to push harder to get him in top shape,” trainer Freddie Roach said over the phone yesterday as he wrapped up his work at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood.

Roach is scheduled to arrive tomorrow to oversee Pacquiao’s training until they fly back to Los Angeles by the end of the month for the final push.

Pacquiao left for Cebu last night with his team. He will be there for two weeks under Roach and Boboy Fernandez.

“By the time I get there it’ll be six weeks left to train. But he’s been working out. I just talked to him. He said he ran this morning and worked out at the gym,” Roach added.

“We’ll get in great shape. We’re just gonna move everything over there,” said Roach, adding that heavy training should end four or five days before the fight.

“The only problem is that some people might be telling Manny this is an easy fight. I’ll make sure he won’t think that way.”

Barrera, according to Roach, is training in Guadalajara.

Pacquiao was in LA last week, trained for two days at Wild Card and graced a press conference Friday morning before suddenly taking off for Manila in the evening.

On Sunday he played basketball with friends in Alabang, and the other day started working out at the Wild Card Gym in Paranaque after a morning run.

Pacquiao tipped the scales at 138 lbs, but said he should even be lighter since he had his training gear, soaked in sweat, on. The weight limit for the scheduled 12-rounder is pegged at 130 lbs.

“Payat talaga ako (I’m really thin),” said Pacquiao. Yesterday, Pacquiao wowed his fans that packed the BF Homes gym owned by his former manager Rod Nazario. The crowd that watched him train from 2 to 4 p.m. was bigger than Monday’s.

He did six rounds of mitts with Buboy Fernandez, unleashing loud, powerful combinations and at times faking body shots on his defenseless Pinoy trainer.

Fernandez’ hands were shaking as he took off the mitts. “ I don’t think Freddie can still take this. I almost quit. Nothing has changed. The power behind Manny’s punches is unbelievable,” he said.

Roach said two foreign sparring partners will arrive from LA on Sunday. They are Jose Sta. Cruz and a certain Albano, whom Roach said had sparred with Pacquiao for the 2003 Barrera fight.

“Albano’s a real tough guy and very durable while Sta. Cruz is a little bit taller. I have two other guys lined up in case the others don’t work out well,” said Roach.

“Na-alala ko nga si Albano. Malakas yun (Yes, I remember Albano. He’s strong),” said Pacquiao who might wait for Roach before flying to Cebu for a two-week training.

Roach laughed off rumors of a rift with his boxer, saying he didn’t know where and how it started, and added that Pacquiao’s decision to train in the Philippines is nothing new.

“We’ve talked about it before and Manny said he really wanted to train in the Philippines. He asked me,“ Can we train in the Philippines?” and I said, “Of course. It’s a great place to train,’” said Roach.

“It wasn’t a bad decision,” said the American guru.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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