A lot of boxing fans, particularly Filipinos were disappointed when one of the best tandems in the world of boxing came to an end after the former pound-for-pound king and current World Boxing Association (WBA) world welterweight champion Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao cuts ties with his hall-of-fame trainer Freddie Roach last year.
Due to some circumstances, the great tandem of Pacquiao and Roach ended untimely when the former fought for the first time without the latter on his corner last year when he knocked out Lucas Matthysse of Argentina to wrest the WBA world welterweight title in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
However, their separation was just momentary. This after, Pacquiao who is set to defend his title against a younger opponent in Adrian Broner of the United States on January 19 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquiao and his team composed of his best friend and trainer Buboy Fernandez and conditioning trainer Justin Fortune decided to wrap up the last remaining training program for Pacquiao at a very familiar gym. The Wild Card Gym where Pacquiao and Roach immortalized themselves as one of the all-time greats when it comes to boxer-trainer tandem.
The Wild Card Gym located in downtown, Los Angeles sprung to life when Pacquiao started to train there and what makes it more delightful to see is Roach coaching him at the corner as the watchful eyes of the media continues to follow the fighting senator’s every move.
Pacquiao was seen training at the Wild Card Gym last January 9 where he was completely surrounded with a horde of the press just to catch a glimpse of the former pound-for-pound champion and eight-division world champion in action.
Also, as the fight looms, pay-per-view sales rise twice compared to its initial sales when it was first announced. There are also some websites that offer free Pacquiao vs Broner Live. Members of the press during Pacquiao’s public workout at the Wild Card Gym last Wednesday were not disappointed as the Saranggani, Province native gamely answered their questions even before he hit the mitts with Roach.
In terms of experience, Pacquiao holds a record of 60 victories along with seven defeats, two losses, and 39 knockouts after debuting as a professional boxer in 1995 whereas Broner who has 33 wins, three defeats, one draw with 24 knockouts.
Pacquiao impressed the press during his public workout by displaying an uncanny resemblance of his younger years as a boxer. Indeed, Pacquiao’s boxing skills have not faded away unlike what a lot of boxing experts expects him to be at the age of 40 as he put on a fiery set of combinations, quickness and power punches every round of his mitts session that was handled by Fernandez while Justin Fortune handled the conditioning training that was also featured during the public workout.
Pacquiao also showed his chiseled physique that clearly defied his age and showcases the proof of his hardcore training that started in November last year.
Pacquiao and Roach’s partnership in boxing reaped them tons of awards as Pacquiao was named “fighter of the year” numerous times as well as Roach who was named “trainer of the year” several times as well during the time that the former cementing his name as the only boxer to win world titles in eight different weight divisions.