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Pacquiao starts training in Los Angeles for Bradley

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Special to Philippines Today


WORLD BOXING ICON Manny Pacquiao during his morning workout in Griffith Park in Los Angeles (Wendell Rupert Alinea)


LOS ANGELES, California (PhilAmPress) ― There is no stopping the fight of world boxing icon Manny Pacquiao and American champion Timothy Bradley on April 9at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.


This as Pacquiao, a two-term congressman and a strong contender for senator in the May 9 elections in the Philippines, flew to Los Angeles with his team and started to train for the fight ignoring calls for him to postpone his fight as the coverage of the bout might give him undue exposure that could possibly violate the election laws in his country.


And in his early days of training, Pacquiao's team asked Bradley to watch out for a sharp fighter in the Filipino who is the only person to own a world record of holding eight division championship belts.


Pacquiao has slowly but surely been regaining his punching power that fell 38 of his 65 rivals in a 20-year boxing career.


And if the assessment of chief trainer Freddie Roach will hold true, the eight-division champion is only three weeks away from completely recapturing his knockout punch. 


"I saw it with my own eyes last Saturday that Manny really still has what it takes to knock out an opponent like he had been doing before," the 56-year-old Hall of Fame guru said Monday during a lull in a scheduled workout at the Wild Card  Gym in the heart of Hollywood here.


Roach was referring to the sparring session held before Team Pacquiao left for the United States last Saturday in General Santos City camp where, according to him, the fighting Congressman from Sarangani punished his sparring partners -- Canadian-Congolese Ghislain Maduma and American Lydell Rhodes for 10 rounds with strong combinations that nearly dropped both to the canvas.


"Why,  Manny even bloodied Lydell's lip that I had to cut short the skirmish from what was scheduled five rounds to four," Roach told this writer with a wide grin. "I set  a 10-round sparring session and to complete that, I had to make Maduma's five rounds to six."


"That was the best 10-round sparring I've seen from Manny in years," the seven-time Trainer of the Year of the Boxing Writers Association of America attested. 


After Monday's roadwork at the hilly Griffith Park in the morning and punching the mitts in the afternoon, Pacquiao, likewise, submitted himself to voluntary drug testing with representatives of the Voluntary Anti Doping Agency (VADA) held at his mansion.  


The sparring side of the build up program resumes Tuesday with Pacquiao engaging Rhodes,Maduma and possibly Frankie Gomez and Jose Ramirez joining the duo in preparing him for his third showdown with Bradley at the posh MGM Grand Arena.


"I'll give him a little rest with only eight rounds of against the four in the next tdhree days of sparring ," Roach bared. "Manny looks like he's still suffering from jet lag and needs some respite after that long trip from Manila." 


Next week, Roach, who has been very vocal in his desire that his pupil knocks out Bradley, added that sparring will be for 10 rounds before raising the frequency to 12 rounds a week before proceeding to Las Vegas.  


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