Like old times, Pacquiao holds court at Wild Card



HOLLYWOOD, USA —When Manny Pacquiao is around, Wild Card Boxing Club springs to life.

This was proven again Wednesday, January 9 (Thursday, January 10, Manila time) when a horde of media practitioners descended on Freddie Roach's famed gym here to catch a glimpse of the eight-division world champion in action and get his views on his title duel against American Adrien Broner on January 19 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

They were not disappointed as Pacquiao obliged for interviews before doing the mitts with the boxing Hall of Famer who has been designated as consultant for the Broner fight with former assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez promoted as lead trainer.

And unlike other fighters who usually hold their punches back during the media workout, Pacquiao gave them notable stuff in the brief session.

Pacquiao put up a variety of combinations, displayed lateral movements, and virtually relayed the punches he will deliver on his first defense of the Worrld Boxing Association weltwerweight crown.

Of course, only Pacquiao, Roach, Fernandez, and strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune really know whether it was just for show or the real deal.

In addition, Pacquiao gamely stripped off his training shirt and showed his ripped body, taking turns to face the media in all corners of the ring in the upper floor.

Earlier, he conducted a separate interview at the gym downstairs reserved for Roach's elite fighters, particularly Pacquiao, who's the primary reason why Roach was named Trainer of the Year in 2003, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2014.

When Pacquiao opted not to include Roach in his preparations for Lucas Matthysse, the usually noisy gym where top boxers converged to train, catered mostly to health buffs and budding fighters.

As soon as Pacquiao arrived in Los Angeles on December 22, however, the fans and pro boxers gradually returned, picking up as the final phase of training camp nears.

Wednesday was reserved for local, national and international media, who have been chronicling the training of Pacquiao and Broner for the pay-per-view bout to be aired by Showtime.

The main promoter of Pacquiao-Broner, Premier Boxing Champions, even provided a taco stand in the corner underneath the spiral staircase for those in attendance.

As usual, Pacquiao said he isn't taking Broner lightly and is hoping that the former four-division world champion is training as hard as he is for them to provide a quality fight.

Broner was supposed to do some training at Wild Card, but chose to sweat it out in another gym later.

He knows Pacquiao holds court at Wild Card. –