PAC A PUNCH

Pacquiao poised for colossal comeback
MANNY Pacquiao kicks off his training camp, not just for next month’s exhibition match in Japan, but for a professional comeback late this year.
MANNY Pacquiao kicks off his training camp, not just for next month’s exhibition match in Japan, but for a professional comeback late this year. photograph by NICK GIONGCO for the daily tribune

Manny Pacquiao came out of his swanky Forbes Park residence clad in a black track suit late Tuesday afternoon looking like a kid about to raid a candy store.

As the sun was setting on the horizon, the atmosphere remained muggy and the glow on Pacquiao’s face vanished after just a minute of shadowboxing.

“Ang init (It’s so hot),” Pacquiao said as two of his aides on bicycles, waited for the signal to begin the roadwork around the country’s premier gated community.

Still, Pacquiao didn’t bother to change his attire, saying the material will help him achieve his desired result by the end of the month.

‘Are those the moves of a 45-year-old?’

Barely 24 hours after drumbeating his 28 July three-round exhibition match with Chihiro Suzuki, Pacquiao immediately eased into training mode as he braces for a tough clash with the Japanese-Peruvian mixed martial arts expert and kickboxing ace at the Saitama Super Arena.

After circling Forbes Park’s 2.5-square kilometer area twice, Pacquiao went inside and trained in a mini-gym that had a heavy bag and exercise area.

The lightning speed and cat-quick reflexes showed, leaving a handful of his men convinced that the eight-division legend still has it.

Retired from boxing since October 2021, Pacquiao hit the bag with a flurry of rights and lefts that sent it swinging around with each punch creating a temporary dent on the thick leather skin.

It was like a scene from the classic and vintage Batman and Robin episodes complete with bursts of onomatopoeia at every blow thrown.

Wham-bam-bam-bam!

Pop! Blap! Sock! Bap! Whack! Zap! Pow!

Somebody who was watching the action could not help but burst out in admiration.

“Are those the moves of a 45-year-old?”

Then Pacquiao, probably energized by what had just been uttered, unleashed a hybrid left uppercut-hook that sent the bag bolting backwards.

He then capped the session with a right that caused the chains holding the bag clanking as though the earth was shaking.

The Suzuki match is something Pacquiao treats seriously, something he feels will form a part of his preparation for a mega comeback in November or December.

“November or December,” Pacquiao said of the fight that will have a world title on the line.

In fact, Pacquiao is almost sure that his ring return is imminent because he is already setting stage for his training camp in the Philippines and in the United States.

“Right after (the) Japan (exhibition), we will start training for that fight.”

Asked whether there’ll be changes, Pacquiao said it will be similar to his previous camps.

“When you are at this age, you have to change your training a bit. Your body needs more time to recover and that’s exactly what we’ll do,” he said.

“I will train in Gensan (General Santos City) then do four to six weeks in Los Angeles,” Pacquiao said.

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