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Pacquiao shifts training to Manila

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By EDDIE G. ALINEA | Sports Editor & Columnist


(Photo by Wendell Alinea/OSMP)


With the resumption of Congress starting on Tuesday, May 15, and up to the next two weeks or so, boxing icon Manny Pacquiao will again play the role of a dual citizen – that of being a sitting member of the Philippine Senate and a prize fighter.


This has, actually, been the Filipino eight-division champion’s life since being elected as congressman representing the Province of Sarangani for two terms and senator in 2016.


So expect to see him run every morning in the vicinity of his official residence in the posh Forbes Park as part of his preparations for a fight, attend to his duties as a lawmaker from mid-afternoon to early evening daily then resume training the rest of the day.


Pacquiao could actually be in the session hall as early as 10 a.m to attend committee hearings of which he is a member or chairman.


But wait, count the meetings and social gatherings that require his presence, including prayer rallies and bible reading sessions he is obligated to attend and, indeed, Pacquiao will be leading a busy, tough and gruelling life at least until the mid-July.


Already pushing 40, the Pacman is scheduled to fight World Boxing Association welterweight belt-owner Lucas “La Maquina” on July 14 (July 15 in Manila) at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, a year or so following his loss to Australian Jeff Horn.


Thus, requiring him to prepare harder and longer than what he usually had been doing.


“He can do it. Mahirap-hirap lang di gaya nung dati, pero knowing Manny, kakayanin nya,” assistant trainer Nonoy Neri assured after he and the training team, which includes chief trainer Buboy Fernandez, Roger “Haplas” Fernandez and Nonito Dodong Donaire Sr. wrapped up Pacquiao’s two-week preparations in General Santos City Saturday.      


Donaire Sr., father of two-division champion Nonito Donaire Jr,  joined the training team last week upon invitation of the boxer-legislator himself.   


“Time management lamang naman and Manny has been doing that since he was still a congressman. Konting adjustment lang sa oras,” Neri said. “Naka-dalawang linggo na nga kami sa training camp at wala naman kaming nakitang problema.”


“Of course, wala pa namang senado nang mag-start kami dito sa GenSan. But I believe we can manage kahit may session na,” he said.


Pacquiao and his team will fly to Manila Tuesday, May 15, in time for the resumption of Senate session that day.


Neri said the buildup program also resumes Tuesday unless Pacquiao elects to have another day of rest.


Plan is to spend two to three weeks here in Manila while sessions are on-going after which the camp  goes back to GenSan when Congress takes a recess anew starting June 1.


(Eddie G. Alinea/This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )     


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