Pacquiao Watch: Injury rumors dismissed after Manny skips jogBy Edwin Espejo Sep 03, 2013 4:30PM UTC
GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Buboy Fernandez waited for almost an hour before he was told that Rep. Manny Pacquiao was not showing up at the P. Acharon Sports Complex for his daily morning jog Tuesday.
“Gikapoy siguro (Probably tired). We did 19 rounds of bags and mitts yesterday,” said Fernandez, Pacquiao’s childhood friend and now lead conditioning coach after Alex Ariza was fired from the Filipino’s training team by coach Freddie Roach.
Pacquiao played basketball Monday and met with a team of doctors from Cebu and Manila who are in town for a medical outreach program sponsored by the Sarangani congressman.
The congressman however dis show up to join the doctors belonging to the World Surgical Foundation during a press conference Tuesday noon.
Despite Pacquiao’s no-show at the oval, Fernandez is confident the 8-division world boxing champion will be in tiptop condition when he steps into the ring in Macau in November after a long layoff.
He also dismissed reports Pacquiao sprained his ankle in a recent basketball game.
Fernandez said he likes Pacquiao’s chances against Brandon Rios.
“Lamang ‘ta sa lihok (We have the advantage in speed). Rios fights straight ahead,” Fernandez added.
He said Pacquiao’s lateral movement and speed will give Rios a lot of problems.
Asked who he likened Rios to, Fernandez replied, “Margarito.” He was referring to Antonio Margarito who Pacquiao totally outclassed over 12 rounds two years ago in Arlington, Texas.
Like Margarito, Rios is taller and fights forward with a lot of power in both hands. But Rios, like Pacquiao, is also coming off a loss and is an underdog in their November 24 fight.
It will be Pacquiao’s first fight since losing by knockout to arch nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez in December last year.
Pacquiao resumed training middle of August to shake off ring rust. He looks way above the 147-pound limit but Fernandez said it is not a problem.
“Ang importante dili siya kulang sa timbang (What is important is that he is not underweight),” he stressed.
Pacquio usually hits heavy training 8 weeks before his fight day. He still has more than 10 weeks to shed off excess weight and reach peak.
Fernandez also added that the choice of sparring partners for Pacquiao will be Roach’s call. Roach won’t join Pacquiao’s camp until October 6, it was reported.
The Rios bout is another crossroad fight for Pacquiao as he approaches his imminent retirement. Another devastating loss will probably end Pacquiao’s career as a marquee fighter. Roach has said it will be time for Pacquiao to quit and retire if he ‘slips’ against Rios.