By NICK GIONGCO
There is what appears to be quiet confidence in Manny Pacquiao’s training camp and it spells trouble for Timothy Bradley, according to a perennial observer at the Wild Card Boxing Club.
Fred Sternburg, topnotch PR man tapped by Top Rank to drumbeat the already much-publicized April 12 rematch in Las Vegas, said that Pacquiao is exuding the aura and glow he’d seen last many years ago.
“It’s been a great camp with everyone loose and all on the same page,” said Sternburg in an email message. “This camp reminds me of the training camps leading up to the (Oscar) Dela Hoya and (Ricky) Hatton fights.”
The two camps Sternburg referred to produced two sensational wins and it’s been looking that way these days at the famed sweat shop on Vine Street in Hollywood.
A couple of days back, Pacquiao trained for over three hours and did the mitts with Freddie Roach and Sternburg thought he heard shots rung out.
“Manny went 13 rounds on the mitts with Freddie. If you closed your eyes, you couldn’t tell whether the power shots were coming from Manny’s rights or lefts. Thy all sounded like high-powered rifle shots,” said Sternburg.
With Justin Fortune back as conditioning coach after an absence of seven years, Pacquiao looked a bit confused when he began doing Fortune’s brand of strength training.
“What really impressed me is how well Manny has adjusted to Justin Fortune’s various strength and conditioning drills. What seemed a bit unorthodox to Manny two weeks ago he can now do with ease and he seems to really be enjoying them. He even commented on how strong he now feels, flexing and showing off his upper body muscles. Manny did more drills than Justin asked him to do,” said Sternburg.
Pacquiao is raring to prove to one and all that it is premature to write him off at this stage in his Hall of Fame career.
“We’re not focusing on a knockout. Our focus this time time is to put more aggressiveness and throw a lot of punches and if the knockout comes it comes. I just want to prove that I still have the hunger and the killer instinct,” said Pacquiao.
Roach also has nothing but praise.
“Training is going very well. The Philippines worked out well. He’s really hungry. He’s sparred quite a few rounds. We had five different sparring partners and whatever Bradley brings to the table we’ll be ready for.”
Top Rank big boss Bob Arum is likewise drooling with excitement.
“This fight has been eagerly anticipated, a lot has been written about it, the two fighters are extraordinarily dedicated in their preparation. I really think this is going to be a monumental fight and I know from what I’m hearing from Freddie and Manny and watching at the Wild Card that Manny will be 100% prepared and will give a vintage Manny Pacquiao performance on April 12.”