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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Tireless Pacquiao schools rising boxer in sparring session

Manny Pacquiao sent rising star Jamie Kavanagh to school as the man acknowledged as boxing’s top pound-for-pound fighter today battered the young Irish boxer during the two hour closed-door sparring held Tuesday at the Wild Card gym in Hollywood, California.

Rob Peters, head of security at the famed gym of celebrated trainer Freddie Roach, and among the few who saw the sparring session and attested that Pacquiao managed to withstand the 19-year-old Irishman’s serious challenge.

Manny Pacquiao’s works the speedball. Chris Farina, Top Rank

“Manny had to back up a couple of times, but he (Kavanagh) really hit him with some serious shots," said Peters.

“He (Kavanagh) came in a little too brave. He’s very good, but he’s got a little too much balls for his own good," said the tall, muscular Wild Card gym security chief, who’s an avid fan of the Boston Celtics.

Kavanagh, a light-welterweight who had an impressive 168-12 record as an amateur, is just one in the long list of sparring partners Roach has tapped to prepare Pacquiao for his first title defense of his World Boxing Organization (WBO) 147-pound belt against Joshua Clottey of Ghana.

The 12-round title fight is set on March 13 (March 14, Sunday in Manila) at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Also serving as Pacquiao sparmates other than Kavanagh are Mike Dallas, old hands Dave Rodela, Ray Beltran and Shawn Porter, Jose Benavidez, Clottey’s countryman Abdullay Amidu and former Oscar De La Hoya opponent Steve Forbes.

None of them, however, could match up well with the seven-time world champion.

“The more guys they put on him, the more guys he beat up," Peters added.

Pacquiao sparred for a total of 10 rounds with Kavanagh, Amidu, Beltran and Rodela on Tuesday.

Like in the past, Peters maintains a strict protocol in the Pacquiao training camp, barring hordes of people from entering the gym especially during sparring sessions held every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

“So far, it’s been working," Peters added, saying Pacquiao has maintained his concentration six weeks into training and just 11 days before the 12-round title fight dubbed `The Event."

“Freddie’s happy and Manny’s been in good spirits. It’s good," he said.

Boosting more Pacquiao’s spirit was the arrival here of wife Jinky late Tuesday night, accompanied by her twin sister Janet and other close family friends.

A day after, the Filipino southpaw makes his second appearance in the popular talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live, where he previously guested four months ago, just two weeks before taking on Miguel Cotto for the WBO welterweight belt. – GMANews.TV


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