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Monday, September 21, 2009

Pacquiao starts training: Fans mob champ in Baguio camp

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MANILA, Philippines - Manny Pacquiao is providing a different kind of chill up in Baguio these days.

Since arriving in the country’s summer capital the other day, the reigning pound-for-pound champion has generated so much attention that people have started to follow him wherever he goes and drool over whatever he does.

Pacquiao was met by a pack of mediamen, including those from various wire agencies, at the Cooyeesan Hotel upon his arrival, and a horde of fans, mostly tourists, when he went out for a run at the famous Burnham Park.

Pacquiao was out on the road at 5 a.m. yesterday, and instead of going to the Sta. Lucia golf course, opted to go straight to the park located at the heart of Baguio City. Before he knew it, a crowd had gathered around him.

Pacquiao chose a spot to do his morning rituals after the run, some shadow boxing, stretching and abdominal exercises as a security team tried to shield him from the crowd.

“It’s okay, Michael,” he told his Canadian adviser, Mike Koncz, referring to the crowd that had inched closer to the boxer to watch his every move.

Pacquiao stayed in the park for close to an hour, and in between sets, shared jokes with his trainers, Buboy Fernandez and Nonoy Neri, and Koncz, who’s in charge of the boxer’s stay in Baguio.

Pacquiao was very friendly with his fans and showed them how he loves putting on a show while training.

After a brief rest in his hotel suite, Pacquiao moved a couple of floors lower where the gym is located. He worked out for nearly two hours, with just a few mediamen allowed in to take pictures of the boxer.

From the gym, Pacquiao moved to another wing of the hotel and played basketball with members of his team. The other day, he complained of some pain in his knee after playing basketball in San Francisco.

But all seems well now for the 30-year-old megastar who pounded the road, and the mitts like he’s been training for a month now.

Pacquiao has eight full weeks to prepare for his Nov. 14 fight with WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto who’s in his first month of training by now. From Puerto Rico, he has moved over to Tampa, Florida.

Pacquiao’s chief trainer, Freddie Roach, and conditioning coach, Alex Ariza, are scheduled to arrive this morning from Los Angeles and take the five-hour ride to Baguio to start presiding over the training.

Source: philstar.com

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