MANILA, OCTOBER 17, 2008 (STAR) By Abac Cordero - Manny Pacquiao is up to something new, something different as the 50-day countdown for his “Dream Match” with the great Oscar dela Hoya in Las Vegas begins today.

Pacquiao is now deep in training at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, and yesterday he said he’s been into some covert training exercises geared toward the Dec. 6 bout.

“Sa isang sikretong lugar sa Wild Card, ginagawa rin namin ang mga pagsasanay (In one secret area of Wild Card we’ve been doing the exercises),” he wrote in his column.

The secret area he was referring to must be the east wing of the Hollywood gym, an expansion built last year to keep Pacquiao away from the prying eyes of the public while on training.

But it has never been used for that purpose at least in the last two fights – except for this one, which requires a new training regimen since Pacquiao’s is moving up to 147 pounds.

Inside the “secret room” is a new ring. Also installed were some heavy bags and weights equipment. Pacquiao uses this room only when he exercises, and moves out to the old one when he spars or works the mitts.

A Team Pacquiao insider said only the “chosen ones” are allowed in the room these days.

Pacquiao said the new form of exercises is intended to give him newfound strength, and would help him maintain his speed as he moves from 135 pounds to 147 pounds.

Dela Hoya is training at the Big Bear Camp in California under Mexican Nacho Beristain.

Pacquiao and his trainer Freddie Roach believe that speed remains as the Pinoy boxer’s biggest weapon against the Dela Hoya who at 5-10 1/2 is at least four inches taller.

A report said Pacquiao is into some weight training. But it added that the weights being used are “light and scientifically based… that will enhance Manny’s explosiveness to a large degree.”

The report also said the weight training is not meant to add muscle mass just for Pacquiao to make it to 147 pounds, and are not used everyday – not on days that he spars.

Alex Ariza, Pacquiao’s new conditioning coach, who once handled the training of the late Diego Corales, doesn’t want Pacquiao to get complacent on any one routing, according to the Philboxing story.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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