Manny Pacquiao: The hardest working man in boxing?
There may be no busier boxer than Manny Pacquiao right now, as the master juggler is up at 5 a.m. to run, then does an hour of strength and conditioning, showers, chows and heads off to his Senate office for a 9 a.m. start.
He does the Senate thing ’til 5 or 6 p.m. and then it’s off to the gym, in Manila, for boxing training.
He’s done by maybe 10 p.m. and then it’s rinse and repeat.
“Pacman,” the boxer/Congressman-turned-boxer/Senator is trying to show his countrymen that he takes his new political duties as seriously as heck, and has promised not to miss a single Senate session as he readies himself for a date with WBO welterweight titleholder Jessie Vargas on Nov. 5 in Las Vegas.
That tango will run on a Top Rank Promotions pay-per-view and isn’t, his people say, the start of a run. Pacquiao will be 38 in December and he’s taking it one fight at a time now.
Coach Freddie Roach, his trusted consigliere/tutor, will travel to the Philippines this weekend and the dynamic duo will convene for their first training session Sept 26.
Manny will do his juggling thing till either the second or third week of October, before jetting to Cali for a Wild Card Boxing Club stint. He will drive to Vegas on Oct. 31 and lay down his bones as he sets his mind and body for a Vargas challenge.
No secret that Pacquiao would like to look rock-solid as he did against Tim Bradley in their April rematch and then try to show the masses that it was actually a busted wing that made him turn in a subpar showing against Floyd Mayweather Jr. in May 2015, not a massive talent differential.
But the juggler has been doing this long enough to be clear: He will not look past Vargas, i.e. have too many balls in the air, because that’s a recipe for a drop. He would need to go into a Mayweather sequel on a serious upswing, because it will already be a hard lift to combat patrons who were let down by the un-scintillating “super-fight.” That way, at least, it can be argued that the stakes for Nov. 5 are high.
The hardest-working man in boxing, my eye. Everyone knows that distinction belongs to Michael Woods. Writer. Boxing site owner and operator. Podcaster. Artisan of sweet selfies. And that’s all before a 9 a.m. start. Take THAT, Pacman…
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