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Sunday, October 25, 2009

HBO Pacquiao-Cotto 24/7's pilot episode reveals many truths behind Team Pacquiao

Pacquiao Cotto 24/7
After watching HBO's initial episode of Pacquiao-Cotto 24/7, many speculations and rumors that have surrounded Team Pacquiao got some answers. But before I jump into all of that, HBO definitely deserves a lot of praise for putting together another great video documentation of not only the fighters competing in the biggest fight of the year on November 14, but also capturing the stories and sceneries that surround them.

Watching scenes from the tragic typhoon and flooding back in the Philippines definitely struck a nerve. I saw the episode with about 15 of my friends and the room went from buzzing with excitement to awe-struck quiet while the scenes were playing on TV. Needless to say, the footage really got the message across. People still need our help.

Anyway, going back to my original subject, the show confirmed a lot of things going on around Team Pacquiao. What struck me more than anything however was how patient Freddie Roach has been with Manny. Honestly, I was kind of disappointed with how Manny was acting based on what I saw in the show. Much respect to Roach for how patient he was towards Manny. It was almost as if he was babying the Filipino idol. I understand that Manny is a work horse in training and all of that but as much as I hate to say it, he is starting to sound like a spoiled brat with what I heard and saw from Roach's accounts.

Roach already compromised so much by abandoning his gym in LA and all his other clients and fighters by agreeing to fly to Baguio and train Pacquiao there against his will. And when he stated that he and Manny had agreement that basketball would only be allowed once a week, only for Manny to turn around and break that agreement and play basketball everyday, that to me was really kind of, well... selfish. And how Roach has bitten his tongue and swallowed his pride after such insubordination only speaks volumes about his character and how much he cares for his star pupil.

Yes, there were plenty of distractions in Baguio. From the weather to the people around him, to the almost comical opening scene when Pacquiao was sucking in a lot of chlorine while swimming outdoors in a cold pool under trickling rain drops. Holding camp in Baguio wasn't such a bad idea, but it sure turned out to be one. On top of that, the appearance of one Manny Villar (a presedential candidate in the Philippines) in the episode confirmed how Pacquiao's political aspirations have followed him in his boxing preparations. Roach had to actually rudely interrupt Pacquiao and Villar to redirect Pacquiao's focus on more pressing matters in their camp. Again, props to Roach for keeping his composure. I would definitely not have blamed him if he simply chose to pack his bags and quit.

Another issue that was confirmed is the increased role of Pacquiao adviser Michael Koncz in his camp together with the licking he took from strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza. Koncz tried to downplay the incident but the fact that the incident did happen, leads me to believe that Manny must have some serious reason a lot of us do not know of for keeping such a distraction like Koncz in his camp.

I know I will catch a lot of flack for these statements, but like I always say, I just call it like how I see it. And just as Manny himself would say, nothing personal, just doing my job. Roach however, deserves another Trainer of the Year award just for the job he has done in this version of Pacquiao's training camp. I'll tell you this much, after years of being involved in organized sports such as basketball and football, I have never had a coach that gave me or any of our players and teammates as much rope as Roach did Manny. I just wonder how long it will last however because as patient Roach may have been, I don't see it ever happening again in future Pacquiao training camps.

As much as I enjoyed the first episode of this series, there were some things that I hoped to see that were left out like Pacquiao's sparring against Shawn Porter and the relief efforts he did in Manila. Overall however, HBO did a great job and I definitely can not wait for the second episode. Check back later for the Cotto version of my review of Pacquiao-Cotto 24/7.

Source: http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-10947-Indianapolis-Fight-Sports-Examiner~y2009m10d25-HBO-PacquiaoCotto-247s-pilot-episode-reveal-many-truths-behind-Team-Pacquiao

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