Manny Pacquiao starts sparring to prepare for Mayweather

Will there be a St. Manny's Day on May 2 moving forward? Photo Courtesy: Oliver Petalver / TheDailySportsHerald
Will there be a St. Manny’s Day on May 2 moving forward?
Photo Courtesy: Oliver Petalver / TheDailySportsHerald

By Kendrick E. Johnson

With it being only six weeks until his showdown with Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao began sparring Tuesday at trainer Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, California.

Roach was especially pleased with Pacquiao’s form considering he had not been inside the ropes since defeating Chris Algieri last November in Macau. Pacquiao’s workout at the Wild Card Gym included five hard rounds with a pair of sparring partners which according to many pleased the Hall of Fame trainer Roach.

“Manny looked so fresh today. I’m very happy with what he showed me,” Roach said. “You couldn’t tell he had been away from the ring since the Algieri fight in November. Manny is on fire in the gym.”

Before coming to the United States at the beginning of March to train with Roach, Pacquiao spent a couple of weeks doing conditioning work in the Philippines. He did another two weeks of conditioning before beginning the sparring part of his training.

“It was great to finally put on the headgear and spar,” Pacquiao said. “My sparring partners gave me good work today. They were perfect for testing the strategy Freddie and I have developed to beat Floyd Mayweather. I was very happy with my stamina and speed today.”

Pacquiao went the first rounds with Edis Tatli (24-1, 8 KOs), 27, of Finland, whose only loss was a majority decision challenging lightweight world titleholder Richar Abril in September in Finland. Then Pacquiao sparred three more rounds with Chicago junior welterweight prospect Kenneth Sims Jr. (5-0, 2 KOs), a 21-year-old who had previously worked out at the Wild Card gym and caught the eye of Roach, who was impressed by his talent and because his style is similar to Mayweather’s.

Pacquiao, is 57-5 with two draws and 38 knockouts while Mayweather is 47-0 with 26 knockouts entering their May 2 match up in Las Vegas. Promoted by Mayweather Promotions and Top Rank Inc., the Mayweather-Pacquiao live pay-per-view telecast will be co-produced and co-distributed by SHOWTIME PPV® and HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 8:00 p.m. CT/ 6:00 p.m. PT.

Their much-anticipated showdown will be for the pound-for-pound global bragging rights and is expected to break boxing revenue records.

Roach joked. “I am confident May 2 will be celebrated for years to come as St. Manny’s Day — the day he drove Mayweather out of boxing.”