Manny Pacquiao breaks top contender Viktor Postol's nose in sparring
The Philippines icon is showing terrific form ahead of his fight against Chris Algieri, hurting Mike Jones and WBC number one-rated contender from Ukraine in training in General Santos
Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao has been gobbling up his sparring partners, leaving a top contender with a broken nose and another hurt as he stepped up preparations for his highly-anticipated welterweight showdown against American Chris Algieri in Clash of Cotai II next month in Macau.
Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KOs) is sparring with highly-regarded welterweight Mike Jones and current junior welterweight contender Viktor Postol, two tall fighters who fit the style of the unbeaten Algieri, who will be hoping to clinch Pacquiao’s WBO (World Boxing Organisation) welterweight title on November 23 at the Cotai Arena in the Venetian Macao.
The Philippine superstar, who was in Hong Kong on a three-day promotional visit, hurt Jones last week in training, and then left Postol, the No 1 contender in the junior welterweight division, with a broken nose in training at Pacquiao’s Wildcard Gym in General Santos last Friday.
Trainer Freddie Roach is not taking 30-year-old Algieri (20-0, 8 KOs) lightly, saying he is using three good sparring partners to get Pacquiao in top physical condition for the showdown set at a catchweight of 144 pounds.
Still, the American coach continues to knock Algieri, saying Ukrainian Postol would beat Algieri “right at this moment”.
“The thing is I have my number one contender from Ukraine [Postol] and he’s a very good boxer and he could beat Algieri right now. That’s why I brought him in as a number one sparring partner because he has that style,” said Roach, who also trains the Ukraine-born fighter.
Roach stood by the notion that his sparring partners were better fighters than the 1.77m tall Algieri (Pacquiao is only 1.71m), but he still was not taking any chances and is working Pacquiao into “terrific condition”.
“Manny broke Postol’s nose three days ago. But Postol’s okay. I train him. He’s a fighter, he’s a tough kid and he’s not going home,” added Roach.
“Hey, you know the thing is that I brought real sparring partners for real work. The last time we fought in China [Macau] our sparring partners weren’t as good because our opponent wasn’t as good [Brandon Rios].
“We know this guy, he [Algieri] should take that as a compliment [that his sparring partners are better than Algieri].
“We’re in against a type of opponent who is a hard sell for us. I brought in guys who fight just like him [Algieri]. I bring everything, so whatever he [Algieri} brings to the table, we will be ready for him,” said Roach.
The Hall of Fame trainer said Pacquiao’s fitness level and condition were “way past” last November when he easily defeated Rios by a unanimous decision in Clash in Cotai I.
“Manny Pacquiao is in great shape. Our strength coach [Justin Fortune] came in 10 days before me [in General Santos]. He started working him and by the time I worked with him, we were sparring 12 rounds in the mitts. Pacquiao wasn’t even breathing heavy. His condition is terrific right now,” said Roach.
Asked whether Pacquiao needed to slow down to avoid hitting his peak too soon, Roach said: “That’s why I want him to come to Hong Kong. We weren’t going to come because the fight is more important. But the thing is that we are way ahead of schedule.
“We had a good rest day, yesterday wasn’t so bad [promotional activities] and today he’s going to have a little bit of a workout, nothing heavy.
“But tomorrow, we will box nine rounds, nine rounds on Thursday and 10 rounds on Saturday, so we are working our way to a peak level and when we hit that peak, we will decide tapering off a bit.
“We still have three hard weeks of work in front of us. With three good sparring partners, it’s working out well. I have one more sparring partner coming over as a reserve, but I will use him as well.”
Pacquiao had a light training session at the EPIC MMA Club in Central on Monday, showing a large group of reporters his incredible work rate and style that make him one of the world’s top pound-for-pound fighters.