Will Manny’s age show vs Vargas?
Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) - October 25, 2016 - 12:10am

LOS ANGELES – While many suggest that Jessie Vargas will be a statue inside the ring, one of Manny Pacquiao’s closest allies is airing a different concern.

“I want to find out if Manny’s age will be a factor in this fight,” said Franklin Gacal, a Filipino lawyer who used to work around Pacquiao day and night.

Pacquiao (58-6-2 with 38 knockouts) will turn 38 on Dec. 17 while Vargas (27-1 with 10 knockouts) just turned 27 last May 10.

That’s a big difference in years.

“I’m curious if his age will show here,” said Gacal, one of the many who joined Pacquiao for lunch Sunday at the Kabuki Restaurant along Sunset Blvd.

Gacal, fast recovering from a heart condition, knows that Vargas doesn’t have the speed to match with Pacquiao but may have greater chance if the fight lasts longer.

“He’s the younger fighter that’s why,” said Gacal.

“But we will see if he can take Manny’s punch. I don’t think he’s ever faced anyone who hits as hard as Manny,” he added.

At 37, Pacquiao is one of the oldest competitors in the elite circle. But based on recent reports, age could just be catching up on him.

One day in training for the Nov. 5 fight, Pacquiao’s chief trainer Freddie Roach said he felt Pacquiao was getting tired inside the ring.

Everybody gets tired but Roach must have seen something. He even suggested giving Pacquiao an extra day of rest from the ordinary Sunday off.

Roach also decided to limit the number of sparring rounds for Pacquiao.

They never did 12 rounds of sparring in this camp, and headed to Los Angeles the other day after sparring 10 rounds in Manila.

Roach said they will do a couple of six-round sparring sessions this week at the Wild Card Gym here in L.A. and then that’s it – it’s off to Vegas.

Pacquiao has also done away with the plyometric exercises preparing for the Vargas fight.

Still, Roach said there’s nothing more to it.

“He’s really looking good and he’s where we want him to be,” he said.

Notes: After nearly two months of training in Manila, Manny Pacquiao is now in L.A. for the final week of preparations for his WBO welterweight title clash with Jessie Vargas on Nov. 5. He flew in Saturday and spent Sunday attending church service in the morning, treating close to a hundred guests for lunch and going out shopping in the afternoon. On Monday, he plunges back into training, starting off with a morning run either at the Griffith Park or the Pan Pacific Park then an afternoon gym session at the Wild Card Gym… While he trains at the famous Hollywood sweatshop, traffic around the area is expected to turn to a halt with the scheduled presence of President Barack Obama in the Los Angeles area this week for fundraisers and a guesting on the Jimmy Kimmel Show Monday evening. Pacquiao’s handlers insist that there’s no scheduled meeting between President Obama and Pacquiao on Monday even if they’re just two blocks away from each other. Pacquiao and Obama are no strangers to each other and in fact seemed to like each other’s company. In 2011, as Pacquiao drummed up his fight against American Shane Mosley, he paid Obama a courtesy call at the White House, and left the oval office with a bagful of M&M candies bearing the seal of the US President.

Roach said Pacquiao has developed a punch can “kill.”   

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