Sparring partner from Pampanga a 'big help' to Pacquiao
MANILA, Philippines – A young boxer from Pampanga has been a great help to Filipino ring icon Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao in his training camp, according to former world champion Gerry Peñalosa.
In an interview with Joaquin Henson of The Philippine Star, Peñalosa touted Pampanga native Dan Nazareno as the sparring partner who has been the biggest help for Pacquiao as he prepares for American brawler Brandon Rios.
“Nazareno fights like Rios, and he’s 5-foot-9,” said Peñalosa. “Freddie (Roach) wants another sparring partner like Nazareno.”
Pacquiao is also sparring with Liam Vaughan from England and Frederick Lawson of Ghana, two boxers whom Peñalosa described as “average.”
“Vaughan and Lawson are helping Manny out, particularly in testing his speed,” he explained. “But once they get hit by Manny, they start running.”
“The guy who’s a big help is Nazareno,” he stressed. “(Nazareno) doesn’t back off and tries to pressure Manny. I think we need one more sparring partner like Nazareno to complete the rotation.”
Nazareno has a professional boxing record of 17-10, with 13 victories coming by knockout. He last fought in November 2012, losing to Min Wook Kim via second round technical knockout.
Meanwhile, Pacquiao’s adviser, Michael Koncz, told Henson that the boxer’s training camp “has been fabulous.”
“I can’t tell you if Manny is 70 or 80 or 90 percent ready for Rios,” he said. “All I know is things are working out fine.”
“The sparring has been great. Everybody’s doing his part… Manny’s in great shape. I’m looking forward to a decisive win over Rios,” he added.