Monday, September 28, 2009
Manny Pacquiao’s sparmates Shawn Porter and Urbano Antillon had their work perfectly cut out for them.
Upon arriving in Baguio City where Pacquiao is currently holding training camp for his Nov. 14 fight with Miguel Cotto at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Antillon and Porter immediately climbed the ring and worked out a sweat.
Good for the two of them, according to assistant trainer Roger “Flash" Fernandez.
“Pinag-ensayo na agad namin para hindi masakit ang bugbog nila sa sparring," said the brother of long-time Pacquiao Filipino trainer Buboy Fernandez while flashing a big wide grin.
A day after taking a rest from training, Pacquiao was back to his relentless ways, working on the mitts, speed ball and double-end ball, while doing shadow-boxing and abdominal crunches for three straight hours.
“Ayaw paawat," said Fernandez.
Both Antillon and Porter, along with his dad Ken, arrived in the country last Sunday, but owing to the inclement weather, didn’t travel to the City of Pines until early Monday morning.
“We’re ready to go," said Antillon, a regular Pacquiao sparmate every time he has a fight.
Nonoy Neri, another Pacquiao assistant trainer, said Pacquiao is expected to spar four rounds Tuesday at the Shape Up gym inside the Cooyesan Hotel along Naguillan road, two rounds each with Antillon and Porter, a 2007 National Golden Gloves middleweight champion.
Neri said Pacquiao has been getting better and better as training camp in the summer hideaway enters its second week.
“Maganda na ang kilos," he pointed out. “Lumalabas na `yung bilis niya. Sa power wala namang problema kasi nandun na yun."
Pacquiao, as usual, is looking forward to the start of sparring session in training camp.
Informed of the arrival of Antillon and Porter, Pacquiao smiled and quipped, “can’t wait to see them."
Sparring will be held Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, the number of rounds gradually increasing by the day until it reaches a full 12 rounds per day.
As the 12-round fight nears, sparring gradually tapers off.
As had been the practice before, head trainer Freddie Roach may hold the sparring sessions behind closed doors.