BAGUIO CITY—Renowned trainer Freddie Roach has calendared fewer rounds of sparring for Manny Pacquiao this time.
While the pound-for-pound king went through 150 to 160 rounds of sparring in the past, Roach said he’ll be satisfied if Pacquiao completes 100 to 110 rounds before he fights Antonio Margarito for the vacant WBC super welterweight title on Nov. 13 at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
“Manny already has the experience,” said Roach. “He’s only in his second week of boxing and he’s great where we are.”
Pacquiao underwent his second sparring session against light middleweight Michael Medina at the Cooyesan Sports Complex Saturday and Roach said he liked what he saw.
Giving away nearly five inches in height and reach to the 5-foot-11 Medina, who holds an impressive record of 24-2 with 19 knockouts, Pacquiao still had little trouble landing punches and springing out whenever Medina pinned him on the ropes in their four-round session Saturday.
“He’s looking great,” said Roach, who also praised Medina for providing the seven-time, seven-division world champion a solid, well-rounded workout.
Like Glen Tapia, who first sparred with Pacquiao for four rounds on Tuesday, Medina was aggressive and threw a lot of punches as he tried to imitate Margarito’s brawling style.
Pacquiao, however, was equal to the challenge, gamely trading blows and occasionally letting Medina hit him with body shots.
Having played basketball with his MP GenSan Warriors in an exhibition game Friday evening, Pacquiao opted to skip his morning roadwork at Burnham Park.
Refreshed and reinvigorated, Pacquiao had excess energy left to shadow box for four more rounds, hit the speed bag, skip ropes and do his abdominal exercises.
He then regaled the crowd, which included some Koreans, when he showed his golf stance with imaginary clubs and then displayed his jumping prowess by reaching the ceiling of the boxing ring.
After showering and eating a late lunch, Pacquiao went down to Manila to honor a commitment to be with his family, especially daughter Princess, who celebrated her birthday on Friday.
Training camp will take a break today with Pacquiao expected to return early Monday or late Sunday evening.
Roach said he doesn’t mind Pacquiao playing basketball as “he’s always played basketball until four weeks before a fight.”
The four-time Trainer of the Year did admit that he sometimes “feels uneasy” as there’s always the probability that his prized ward might sustain an injury.
Medina was all praises for Pacquiao after the sparring session.
“I’ve never sparred with a guy like Pacquiao,” said Medina. “I tried to pin him to the ropes, but I couldn’t. He’s got too much experience.”
Roach said he expects another sparring partner, light middleweight Vanes Martirosian, to plane in anytime.