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Manny Pacquiao Gets Work With Two Young Lions, Lefties Like Errol Spence

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HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA (July 9, 2021) – Four days removed from flying around the world to Los Angeles, eight-division world champion and boxer laureate Senator Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs), who hails from Sarangani Province in the Philippines, had the head gear on and sparred four rounds with two taller and younger southpaws at world-famous Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif. on Thursday. 

Seems like old times for the dynamic duo, Manny and Freddie. Photo by Chris Farina

The small audience that observed the session included two people assigned by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) to collect a blood sample following his workout – the second time VADA has tested Manny this week.  Manny has powered his way through jet lag to train two to three hours daily at Wild Card every afternoon while starting most mornings with runs at either Pan Pacific Park or running straight up the hills of Griffith Park to the iconic Hollywood Sign, followed by a series of 1,000 sit-ups.  It is an extraordinary feat for any athlete, but for the 42-year-old amazin’ Manny, it is just a walk in the park.

Manny takes on undefeated unified WBC and IBF Welterweight World Champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. (27-0, 21 KOs), from Desoto, Texas, in a blockbuster championship showdown that headlines a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View Saturday, August 21 from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.  The pay-per-view will begin at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.

“Manny lives for the challenge and the competition.  Manny loves hearing that the Las Vegas odds and the media favor Errol Spence,” said Freddie.  “Manny knows it’s a tough fight – probably his toughest – but that’s why he began his conditioning so early in the Philippines.  Usually, jet lag keeps him out of the gym for one day the first week he arrives in Los Angeles.  Not this time.  He has been here every day, training two and half to three hours each afternoon.  I usually hold off sparring the first week, but Manny insisted on sparring yesterday, so we brought in Maurice Lee (5’11) and Alexis Rocha (5’10), who went two rounds each with Manny.  Manny has achieved so much in his boxing career and in his life.  But everyone in camp can sense this fight has a special meaning.  It is not just about beating a top pound-for-pound fighter or winning more titles.  This time it’s all about boxing immortality for Manny Pacquiao.  I am a Red Sox fan, and I can tell he wants to go out like Ted Williams did, hitting a home run in his last at bat.  By the way, Ted Williams was also 42 when he did that.”

 “What a great experience,” said Lee, 29, who boasts a professional record of 12-1-2, 5 KOs.  “I thought since he had just flown in from the Philippines, he would be a little tired and I could catch him with a few shots.  But he was sharp, elusive, and unpredictable.  Video tape does not prepare you for his speed and the angles he fights from.  His punches were coming from everywhere!  Calling him elite would be an understatement.”

“Sparring with Manny was definitely a learning experience,” said Rocha, 24, who scored a second-round knockout victory over James Bacon in June to improve his record to 17-1, 11 KOs.  “Manny has a very awkward style to fight because his punches come from all directions.  He has fast and heavy hands and he throws punches in bunches.”   

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Manny Pacquiao and Errol Spence will kick off the promotional campaign side by side this Sunday, July 11, when they will appear for a live televised press conference on FOX (and the FOX Sports app) beginning at 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT.  The hour-long program will feature commentary from former opponents Keith “One Time” Thurman and “Showtime” Shawn Porter, who will offer their analysis before Pacquiao and Spence return to their training camps.

Editor/publisher Michael Woods became addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the fearsome Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine, ESPN.com, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of TheSweetScience.com from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and numerous other organizations.

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