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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pacquiao Starts Sparring With Escobar, Upping The Pace

Manny Pacquiao, stepping up preparations for his “Fire Power” showdown with WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto at the MGM Grand on November 14 is preparing for a big sparring day Thursday.

Trainer Freddie Roach and conditioning guru Alex Ariza made sure that Pacquiao would be ready to take on a tough assignment when he spars with undefeated light middleweight Shawn Porter (10-0, 9 KO’s), former world champion Jose Luis Castillo and Danny Escobar, the newest addition to the roster of worthy sparring partners.

As mandated by Roach, the sparring sessions are off-limits to everybody except the training staff. However, an HBO crew was reportedly allowed to shoot some footage for their 24/7 pre-fight show.

Ariza said that Pacquiao went nine rounds on the punch-mitts at Gerry Penalosa’s gym at the Market Mall in Mandaluyong City after a fairly demanding workout early morning doing speed drills, etc, and Roach had decided to let Pacquiao ease off in the gym so he’d be ready for a really tough grind on Thursday.

Ariza said the 20 year old undefeated welterweight Escobar who impressed Roach in his first three rounds with Pacquiao on Tuesday provided a different look since he is aggressive, quick and can switch from an orthodox stance to southpaw.

Ariza said Pacquiao is “a hundred percent better now” and that he had eased off on the exercise routine. The conditioning expert said “he’s doing so well right now, I don’t have to kill him every day.”

Meantime, Cotto was visited at his training camp in Tampa, Florida by veteran Hall-of-Fame trainer Angelo Dundee who trained such greats as Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard.

Dundee who also teamed up with Ignacio "Nacho" Beristain in Oscar De La Hoya’s Big Bear camp prior to De La Hoya’s demolition by Pacquiao reportedly spent some time with Cotto.

Cotto also received a gift from Everlast in the form of a heavy bag with a Manny Pacquiao photo on it.

Source: boxingscene.com

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