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Monday, October 12, 2009

All is not fine in the City of Pines; Time for Manny to Pac his bags for LA

Manny Pacquiao Swimming Pool
The benefit of the doubt has been exercised but after 3 weeks of training in Baguio, it's looking clearer and clearer that the Philippines' City of Pines isn't all that fine when it comes to hosting Manny Pacquiao's training camp for his upcoming fight against Puerto Rico's Miguel Cotto.

In fairness, it hasn't been a total failure either. This is not me pressing the panic button, as Pacquiao is somewhat on pace to where he wants his conditioning to be- but he could be doing so much better.

According to Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach and Philippine media who have been covering Pacquiao's training camp, with each passing day, the Pac Man is consistently regaining his form and endurance and is steadily doing better in his sparring sessions.

Pacquiao's focus though leaves a lot to be desired. In Baguio, Pacquiao is surrounded by friends and fans that constantly compromise his full attention from the task at hand. Roach from time to time has expressed his dismay over Pacquiao playing to the crowd during training. From military and senior citizens joining his morning runs, to how accessible he has been to his friends and local media, coupled by typhoons and bad weather that has prevented him from running outdoors which has definitely affected his road work routine, it's crystal clear that it's time to move on and step up his training a notch elsewhere.

I got to agree with The White Gorilla who floats like a butterfly and stings like a moth from NYC, Mike Marley, when he suggested Team Pacquiao to start packing it's bags for LA and the Wild Card Gym. It's not really too late yet, but I feel as if though that they need to do a little bit of catching up.

In an article by "tukayo" Dennis Principe of the Inquirer, he reported that Pacquiao has taken to swimming as an alternative to jogging to make up for lost time in his road work due to the bad weather. Roach said,

“For the last eight years I’ve been trying to get Manny in the pool. With the rain here we finally got him in the pool. He swallowed a lot of chlorine but he learned to swim quite quickly. I think I actually liked it overall because when he started to work out he realized how hard it was. It’s like weightlifting but it doesn’t make you tight and slow so it’s a really a wonderful workout. I think we’ll get him back there again.”

I would have to agree for the most part with Roach as I myself have experienced the benefits of water training. Personally, it actually makes me feel lighter and gets my muscles toned and more responsive for basketball. I feel light on my feet every time I swim laps and do water aerobics type of stuff before I go and hoop. It's definitely a great work out and doesn't put stress on the joints as opposed to running, BUT! -and I really had to emphasize the word but- the thing that strikes me is that it was also reported that the water training lasted for 26 minutes.

26 minutes?

Even the older adults at our YMCA can do twice that pace easily. And Pacquiao had to learn how to swim in the process? Wait, wasn't Pacquiao snorkeling a few months ago? Don't tell me Lapu-Lapu from the tuna capital of the Philippines just learned how to swim. Besides, doesn't Pacquiao have a boxing glove shaped pool that looked like something else if you didn't know Pacquiao is a boxer. Anyway, at this stage of the game however, I just don't know how smart it would be to change up a person's routine after so much success. I know they are simply trying to improvise, but I think the best improv they can do is ditching Baguio now to go back to their usual surroundings so they wouldn't have to improvise and compromise their training. Besides, swimming uses totally different sets of muscles and I just don't know how it will translate to Pacquiao's speed and explosiveness compared to how his daily runs at the Hollywood hills did.

The writing is in the wall. As the fight draws closer and with about a month left before the big fight, it's really time to buckle down and put nothing to chance. No more after party band rehearsals because ultimately if Manny does not 'rehearse' properly for the real task at hand, there's a chance that he might not need all the rehearsing because it would be Cotto doing all the celebrating. How much rope and improvisations does Manny really need at this point? Baguio wasn't such the great idea they thought it to be and it's about time they admitted it to themselves. I mean, what's next? Bringing in a sparring partner named Michael Phelps?

Source: http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-10947-Indianapolis-Fight-Sports-Examiner~y2009m10d11-Who-said-Baguio-was-a-good-idea-Pac-needs-to-relocate-camp

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