BAGUIO CITY — World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao has declared himself ready for a tough eight-week grind to prime himself up for his June 9 fight against undefeated American Timothy Bradley with his 147-pound crown at stake.
The fighting Sarangani congressman said an almost two-week prelude he had undergone in Laguna and General Santos City made him ready for what chief trainer Freddie Roach has lined up in Baguio City.
“Yes, I feel that the initial two-week workout serves as cushion for the tough training regimen Freddie has prepared for me to take care of,” the 33-year-old eight-division kingpin said.
“The excess fat, the rustiness had been partially lessened so I think I can readily go full-blast in training,” Pacquiao said chuckling while adding that except for a few bible-preaching engagements and time spent with his family during the Holy Week, all his time the past two weeks had been focused on his preparations.
“Workout continued even during the Holy Week, except, of course, on Good Friday. This is how important I consider my fight with Bradley is, contrary to some reports that I am sort of complacent and overconfident,” he said.
Pacquiao actually started his preparations with roadwork in the posh subdivision where his family –- wife Jinkee and children Jimwell, Michael, Princess and Quennie — resides in Sta. Rosa City, Laguna.
The frequency increased in General Santos City where the regimen included rounds of mitts under the supervision and guidance of assistant trainer and boyhood friend, Buboy Fernandez, and Nonoy Neri.
Roach, who is already in the country’s summer capital a week earlier in the company of former junior-welterweight titleholder Amir Khan, who will be preparing for his rematch with Lamont Peterson on May 19, for his part, bared that the first week in Baguio will consist morning roadwork and stamina-building with conditioning coach Alex Ariza. Rounding out the days will be rounds of mitts with Roach himself, feet and hands coordination on the balls and bags.
”We hope to complete more or less 30 rounds with the mitts till week’s end to prepare Manny for the sparring which starts on the second week,” Roach disclosed.
Russian welterweight prospect Ruslan Provodnikov, one of three Roach plans to spar with Pacquiao, will be arriving this coming weekend to work with the 147-pound champ in the Baguio leg of the camp.
Owner of an impressive 21-1 win-loss record with 14 KOs, Provodnikov, who came from Beryozovo, Siberia, will also be preparing for a fight against a still unidentified opponent in early June.