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Pacquiao holds impressive open work-out

Pacquiao holds impressive open work-out


Grapevine, TX--Anyone still harboring doubts about whether Manny Pacquiao is taking his upcoming fight with Joshua Clottey seriously should have attended his open work-out on Tuesday, March 9. In front of a feverish mob of fans and a platoon of press people here at the Gaylord Texan Hotel and Convention Center just outside of Dallas, the welterweight champ showed what he's all about: training hard and, yeah, having a little fun.

Garbed in a blue Nike T-shirt, red gym shorts and shoes a ruby so bright and shiny one could almost be forgiven for mistaking them for Dorothy's slippers, Pacquiao glided around the ring as if riding a thermal, firing punches at a non-existent opponent with dizzying speed. At one point as he circled about an arm's length away from the ropes, his taped-up fists pummeling the air, Pacquiao slid over to his cornerman, Buboy, and suddenly caught the poor guy with a literal gut-check. The crowd laughed, while Buboy--understandably--winced.

No one familiar with Pacquiao's playful personality was surprised by the move. That also goes for Buboy, who, though caught off-guard, has doubtlessly been on the receiving end of Pacquiao's practical--if slightly painful--jokes before. Indeed, even during an intense training session, sweat raining from his brow, Pacquiao rarely loses that infectious smile he so often wears.

Later, legendary trainer Freddie Roach entered the ring to work out with his ace pupil. Clad in a torso pad and armed with a pad on either hand, Roach moved about the ring, absorbing blow after blow from Pacquiao, who was obviously holding back--especially with the body shots--lest he risk dropping his beloved mentor.

The two men possess an almost intuitive understanding of one another. Often during their exchange, all Roach had to do was offer a faint gesture or a few quick words, and Pacquiao knew exactly what punching combination or evasive maneuver Roach wanted him to perform. Indeed, wherever Roach went, Pacquiao followed. It was if the two were connected by a rope and pulley.

It's a psychically charged dynamic--one that has helped propel Pacquiao to the top of the sport of boxing. On March 13, when he faces down Joshua Clottey, the world will find out if Pacquiao can go even higher.

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