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Manny’s last stand…maybe

05
Apr
Photo by Ryan Songalia

Photo by Ryan Songalia

 

Truth be told, in these months, weeks and days leading up to Manny Pacquiao’s April 9 fight in Las Vegas, trainer Freddie Roach, who has partnered up with the Fighting Congressman for longer than most marriages last, wasn’t feeling the vibe that this would ultimately be Manny’s last fight.

That changed Monday, however. After Manny sparred four rounds at the Wild Card Boxing Club, knocked one practice partner across the ring for emphasis to finish the session, and did a bunch of bag and footwork drills, he did something he’d never done before.

Freddie, Buboy Fernandez, and Justin Fortune, please come here, he asked of his faithful support staff. Please join me in the ring.

A gym source privy to the inner sanctum said those persons huddled together and said a prayer.

The source asked Roach if that had ever happened before. No, Roach said; it had not. Roach spoke then of a seeming sense of finality, of closure, in that symbolic convenant.

Freddie “began to think there’s more to it about this being his last fight,” the source said.

“It took Freddie by surprise,” he added.

The “Pacman” caravan then trekked, with about 30 cars and some buses, to Vegas, hitting Sin City at 9 p.m., Vegas time. The Bradley gang had come from Palm Springs maybe an hour before.

A final presser will take place tomorrow, Wednesday, and can be seen via stream, at around 12:30 p.m. Central. Many eyes and ears will be tuned to the Teddy Atlas frequency, as we wonder if he will look to fire up his guy with some fiery oratory…or maybe he will save the propellant wordsmithery for between rounds Saturday night.

Unlike many, if not most, Pacman undercards, this one is a bit more stacked, with Gilberto Ramirez in tough against war-tested WBO super middleweight titleholder Arthur Abraham. This is a nod to the comprehension that Manny did quite well versus Bradley in their the first two tangos and neither entry gained votes for “Fight of the Year.” Thus, Top Rank Promotions CEO Bob Arum hedged his bet by adding some alluring sidepieces to the centerpiece. He hasn’t, however, played the “Manny’s potential last fight” card, so we guess after whatever happens Saturday, Pacman laces up the mitts and throws hands for money at least one more time.

Talk to us, readers. Think that Wild Card prayer powwow is a tell and Manny has quietly decided the end is not near? Leave a comment, please.

 

One Woodsy’s powwow is another Coyote Duran’s drum circle flashback. Mind you, it’s a one-person powwow and plenty of cocktails will be served.

 

 

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You can subscribe to the print and digital editions of THE RING Magazine by clicking the banner or here. On the cover this month: Manny Pacquiao goes into what is possibly his final fight against fellow pound-for-pound entrant Timothy Bradley, on April 9. You can also order the current issue, which is on newsstands, or back issues on our subscribe page.

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