MANILA, APRIL 24, 2012 (BULLETIN) Freddie Roach said Tim Bradley will walk right into Manny Pacquiao’s punches when they meet on June 9 and the trainer predicted that the American’s daredevil attitude will “bring out the best” from the Filipino fighter.”

Roach just wrapped up the first week of training Pacquiao and the multi-awarded trainer is lining up a solidly-built Russian banger who will spar with Pacquiao for four times before they proceed to Los Angeles early next month for the final phase of training.

Ruslan Provodnikov was scheduled to arrive yesterday and is expected to show up at the Shape Up Gym in Baguio today.

Provodnikov, who holds a 21-1 card with 14 knockouts, will begin sparring this Saturday and Roach thinks his style will do wonders for Pacquiao’s buildup for the Bradley bout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Over the weekend, Roach briefed Pacquiao about Provodnikov’s style and his sterling credentials.

Having been in the ring with the crème dela crème, Pacquiao just thumbed his nose at Roach’s lowdown on the 5-6 Provodnikov.

“From Russia with love,” said Pacquiao, smiling as he put the final touches on his handwraps.

Provodnikov, Roach, pointed out, is just one of three being lined up for Pacquiao to hone up for Bradley.

“I have one counter-puncher in case Bradley mimics Juan Manuel Marquez because Manny and Buboy (Fernandez) think that might happen but I don’t see it. I think he will be aggressive and I don’t think his style will change that much and will come in with his head first.”

Roach said all three guys are first-time Pacquiao sparmates because he had to look for somebody who can somehow duplicate Bradley’s style.

While sparring is set towards the end of this week, a key member of Team Pacquiao said he won’t be surprised if sparring happens earlier.

“Once Manny sees his sparring partner, he might ask him to immediately spar,” said Canadian adviser Mike Koncz.

“That’s how he is,” said Koncz, pointing to many instances in the past when Pacquiao would feel the itch to slug right away.


Pacman vows: I won’t lose focus Written by Ronnie Nathanielsz

POUND-FOR-POUND king Manny Pacquiao said he is focused on his training for the showdown against undefeated junior welterweight champion Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley and refuses to get sidetracked by the Alex Ariza caper.

However, a visibly upset trainer Freddie Roach said Ariza abandoned both Pacquiao and former junior lightweight champion Amir Khan in the middle of training camp in Baguio City and accused the strength and conditioning coach of trying to take Khan with him when he left last Saturday for Los Angeles.

Roach intimated to Australian TV host and promoter Peter Maniatis that he told Khan, Ariza didn’t know anything about training a fighter. He also prevented Ariza from taking Khan along with him.

Roach is the trainer of Khan, while Ariza is his strength and conditioning coach.

Ariza told Manila Standard earlier that he had received permission from Pacquiao last Friday to leave, so he could train World Boxing Council middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez and that the Filipino champ gave him the approval to leave.

But Roach was reported to have said that Ariza left because he will earn more money from Chavez Jr., as he is reportedly also a co-manager of the Mexican, besides being his strength and conditioning coach.

Maniatis reported that Pacquiao went jogging in the morning, along with Khan.

During Pacquiao’s training at the Cooyesan Gym, Maniatis said that the Fighter of the Decade looked “60 percent ready, but still has tremendous power.”

“Pacquiao is right on target and there’s no need to worry,” said Maniatis.

Pacquiao himself said that Filipino trainers Buboy Fernandez and Nony Neri, as well as former amateur boxer Marvin Somodio, whom Roach thinks highly of as a trainer and physical instructor, could easily fill in for Ariza.

However, with his new-found religiosity and study of the Bible, Pacquiao told some members of Team Pacquiao, not to judge Ariza.

(Published in the Manila Standard Today newspaper on /2012/April/24)

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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