MANILA, Philippines â€“ Over a month away from his fight with Brandon Rios on Nov 24 in Macau, Manny Pacquiao, who opened training camp a few weeks ago, is still in need of quality sparring.
In a report on philboxing.com, veteran scribe Eddie Alinea said Pacquiao isnâ€™t getting competitive rounds of sparring from his current roster of sparring partners.
For the past days, Pacquiao had been battering his sparmates, including middleweight Filipino Marlon Alta, who even reportedly turned his back during one session after being at the receiving end of a heavy beating.
Another spar mate, Ghanaian Fredrick Lawson, replaced Alta but suffered the same fate.
Pacquiaoâ€™s close buddy and former two-division champion Gerry Penalosa witnessed the sparring sessions and recounted how Alta and Lawson succumbed to Pacquiaoâ€™s relentless assault.
â€œSa lakas nga ng suntok ni Manny, umayaw si Alta, hindi nakayanan ang power ni Manny,â€ Penalosa told Alinea. â€œSi Lawson naman, ilang beses din na-groggy bawat round at hindi makatama.â€
The lack of competitive sparring partners has now become a cause for concern for Team Pacquiao, with Penalosa being the first to express apprehension.
â€œManny needs a sparring partner at least in the coming few days before Freddie (Roach) arrives on Tuesday,â€ Penalosa sad. â€œAt kailangan yung fighting style resembles that of Rios.â€
â€œNandoon na lahat ng kailangan eh. Na-recover na ang strength, quickness coordination, almost everything,â€ he added.
Pacquiao is expected to continue sparring in the next few days, and chief trainer Freddie Roach will reportedly bring with him two more sparring partners for his ward.
Penalosa, meanwhile, hopes they turn out to be better.
â€œWhat Manny needs now is to recapture the feeling of fighting atop the ring na dapat sana ay i-provide ng dancing mate,â€ he said.