With two more sparring partners joining the team, Filipino boxing hero Manny Pacquiao enters the most difficult stage of his build-up program Monday (Tuesday in Manila) at Los Angeles’ famous Wild Card Gym.
Their schedule consists of resumption of working with the mitts with chief trainer and Wild Card owner Freddie Roach plus rounds of punching the heavy bags, the double end ball and speed ball capped with the routine skipping rope.
Russian Ruslan Provodnikov, a power-punching welterweight prospect who had been trading punches with the World Boxing Organization 147-pound titlist the past three weeks remains in the sparring rotation when sparring starts Tuesday (L.A. time).
Also helping in the eight-division kingpin’s regimen to prepare for his title-defense confrontation with American Timothy Bradley are 147-pounder Wally Amatoso and one other 140-pound campaigner whose name Roach could not remember.
“The guy, whose name I can’t remember, has been knocking at Manny’s door for a long-time to be one of his sparring partners so we thought to give him a chance,” Roach recalled.
“We’ll be in the most crucial stage of preparation and Manny knows it’ll be way tougher than what we’d been in Baguio,” Roach told this writer in an interview at the airport before members of Team Pacquiao boarded PAL flight 102 for L.A.