Notes from Manny Pacquiao's training camp
The door leading in to Hollywood's Wild Card Gym opened Tuesday afternoon and in walked Manny Pacquiao.
Boxing's top pound-for-pound fighter arrived back in L.A. this weekend, and although he's still recovering from the jet lag from the lengthy flight from his native Philippines where he trained for 31 days, Pacquiao is preparing to ramp up his conditioning as the days dwindle to his Nov. 14 welterweight showdown against Miguel Cotto in Las Vegas.
"He's tired right now, you can see it in his eyes," Pacquiao trainer's, Freddie Roach, said.
Pacquiao and Roach withstood typhoons that devastated other parts of the Philippines as they set up training camp in Baguio in the northern part of the country. The training was done in near-solitude by Pacquiao standards -- he is a national icon.
"I've never seen him more relaxed, his body is relaxed more than I've ever seen it," his U.S. advisor, Michael Koncz said. "The crowds in Baguio were very respectful of his need to be left alone during training."
One of Pacquiao's sparring partners overseas was former world lightweight champion Jose Luis Castillo, who reported Tuesday that "you have to have [guts] to get in the ring with [Pacquiao], he's very dedicated and is all about constant preparation. It's going to be a great fight. The more intelligent man will win, and Manny is very smart."
Since knocking out Ricky Hatton in a sensational performance May 2, Pacquiao has filmed a movie that will likely be released next year and have him starring as a father who transforms into a Superman-Batman-like superhero. He's also been declared an ambassador, won a peace/humanitarian prize and has decided to run again for a seat in his country's national congress. He lost a previous bid.
Pacquiao has to decide by the end of November if he'll seek a specific provincial office or pursue a national seat. The election is in May 2010, Koncz said.
Roach said he believes Pacquiao should avoid politics because "he can do more for his country in boxing than he can in politics, and in politics you can't make everyone happy like he does now."
-- Lance Pugmire
Photo: Manny Pacquiao. Credit: Jay Directo, AFP/Getty Images.