Manny Pacquiao
Abac Cordero
Manny Pacquiao gives all in sparring
Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) - July 13, 2019 - 12:00am

HOLLYWOOD –  Manny Pacquiao must have thought he was inside the ring with Keith Thurman Thursday afternoon at the Wild Card Gym.

The 40-year-old superstar sparred eight rounds with two different boxers, and gave his all, almost, that at times he made the closed-door session look like an actual fight.

Obviously, he had Thurman, the undefeated WBA “super” welterweight champion, on his mind.

“Madaldal  eh (He talks too much),” Pacquiao said of the boxer whom he will face on July 20 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

“Kung magsalita akala mo bagito ang kalaban (He talks as if he’s fighting a newbie),” added Pacquiao.

As he cooled down inside the ring, Pacquiao engaged his team members in light banter. Then he jumped on to a corner, stepping on the ropes, and raised his arms. His team members, in unison, shouted, “And still!”

“Naglalaro lang ako (I was playing around),” said the eight-division boxing champion.

“I felt good in sparring. I moved well when I wanted. I’m in great condition,” he added.

Americans Jessie Roman (22-4-0) and AB Lopez (10-2-1), the sparring partners, came to mimic Thurman. They did four rounds each with Pacquiao.

The WBA “regular” champion dictated the tempo, and pressed the attack each time he had the chance. He landed good shots and took some heavy hits as well.

It was a good sparring session.

Freddie Roach stood by the corner, and watched with a smile, knowing perhaps that his favorite pupil is ready to fight.

Pacquiao shadow-boxed and worked the mitts and Buboy Fernandez, spent a few rounds with the double-end bag and the speed ball, and called the three-hour session working on his abs.

The senator put on a show for the few who were given access to the gym, including a couple of hockey players from the LA Kings, and American actor Nicholas Turturro.

“I tried my best to look like Thurman and to fight like him,“ said Lopez.

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