Pacquiao nearly topples Ghanaian sparring partner
Analyst says Pacman needs to improve defense
MANILA – Manny Pacquiao wowed several members of the local sports media during his closed-door training at the MP Towers in Sampaloc on Tuesday.
According to Philboxing’s Eddie Alinea, several veteran sports writers and columnist, including Inquirer's Recah Trinidad and Manila Times' Manny Pinol, witnessed Pacquiao go through his training routine ahead of his November 24 fight date with Brandon Rios.
“Rios is much slower to Manny’s speed,” said Pinol. “Rios will be a sucker to Manny’s power.”
Trinidad echoed Pinol’s sentiments, but pointed out the need to improve Pacquiao’s defense, especially against a slugger like Rios.
“Manny is very strong, no doubt about it. He’s fast,” he said.
“But he also needs to avoid being hit. Rios, despite his slowness, can hit and if he connects, something can happen. His handlers should provide a defense mechanism to avoid that.”
Pacquiao headed back to General Santos on Wednesday for his sparring sessions with Filipino middleweight Marlon Alta and undefeated Ghanaian welterweight Fredrick Lawson on Thursday.
The fighting congressman fought Alta for two rounds before taking on Lawson, the IBF international welterweight champion, for another two rounds.
ABS-CBN correspondent Dyan Castillejo reported that Pacquiao nearly knocked down the Ghanaian.
“Dalawang round sila ng Ghana fighter na si Lawson na muntik bumagsak sa huling round," said Castillejo.
"Manny is still the champion" said Pacquiao’s Ghanaian sparring mate following their session.
Pacquiao’s best friend and co-trainer Buboy Fernandez said the Filipino boxer still has what it takes to become world champion again.
"'Yung pinakita niya kanina na sparring talaga, talang nandoon pa ang galaw niya, liksi ng katawan niya, yung bilis ng suntok so kelangan lang talaga ng more focus," Fernandez told Castillejo.