Search for Manny's sparring mate continues

October 18, 2011 9:49 pm 

By Eddie G. Alinea

MANILA, Oct. 18 — The search for a new sparring partner for World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao continues.

This, after the eight-division world belt-holder looked to have run out of somebody who, not only would approximate Mexican arch-rival Juan Manuel Marquez style, but, at the same time would stand his punching prowess.

Last Saturday, Pacquiao, who is preparing for his third bout with Marquez on November 12 in Las Vegas, according to trainer Freddie Roach, floored a sparring partner, whom the Wild Card Boxing Gym owner refused to identify, during a skirmish at his famous sweat shop.

Roach, in interview midnight Tuesday (Monday in Manila), would devulge whether the guy was Zambian Olympian Hasting Bwalya, whose face he rendered bloodied during a separate sparring session Thursday.

Roach, who was apparently half-asleep and was awakened by the call of this reporter in that wee hour of the night, would not bare the identity of the fighter, obviously, to avoid destroying his boxing career, except to say that the pound-for-pound king just dropped him to the canvas, in what round, he also refused to say.

“He (Pacquiao) knocked him down … he knocked him down… ,” he murmured to Malaya Business Insight.

Asked if Bwalya, who he said he would give another chance the same day, did spar and whether he was already out, Roach, likewise, would not say.

“I’ll see what happens tomorrow (Tuesday start of the sparring sessions in Team Pacquiao’s second week of training in Los Angeles).”

Meanwhile, Pacquiao resumed his roadwork Monday morning at the hilly Griffith Park in downtown L.A. with strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza supervising and assisted by assistant trainers Buboy Fernandez and Nonoy Neri.

Also in Pacquiao’s roadwork were Filipino fighters Bernabe Concepcion,Rodel Mayol and Richie Mepranum who are all scheduled to in a boxing card on October 27 ats the San Manuel Indian Casion in Southern California.

Asked by this writer, in a separate interview, whether Pacquiao was affected by the loss of Jorge Linares against Antoni de Marco Saturday for the World Boxing Council lightweight championship, Ariza allayed such a fear.

“He’s sad, yes because the two have already cemented their friendship in their three-week stay in Baguio City in the first leg of Manny’s training,” Ariza assured. “But whether it will affect the remaining phase of his training is out of the question.”

“Manny is Manny. He has never been and will not be affected by events, said of otherwise, that happened during camp,” Ariza said. “in fact, he is now more focused in what he’s doing thinking that the fight against Marquez is just around the corner.”

Pacquiao, who attended the fight to lend morale support to Linares, even went to the Venezuelan dressing room after the bout to console his friend.

“Manny is all business as usual and is looking extremely fast and powerful during training,” Ariza said.

Ariza, likewise, expressed disappointment with the result of the fight, saying it was stopped prematurely. (PNA) RMA/EGA/utb

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