Manny Pacquiao underwent his first day of sparring whilst the Irish celebrated St. Patrick’s Day on Tuesday as the WBO welterweight king ups his preparation to face arch-rival Floyd Mayweather Jr. on May 2 in Las Vegas.
The 36 year-old, who has won world titles in seven separate weight classes, took to the ring with trusted trainer Freddie Roach at the world famous Wild Card Gym in LA and looked in tremendous shape, according to his long-time mentor.
“When Manny threw out the first punch it felt like opening day of Irish Spring Training,” said Roach.
“Manny looked so fresh today. I’m very happy with what he showed me. You couldn’t tell he had been away from the ring since the Algieri fight in November.
“Manny is on fire in the gym and I am confident May 2 will be celebrated for years to come as St. Manny’s Day – the day he drove Mayweather out of boxing!”
Pacquiao was relieved to finally begin trading punches for his defining night at the MGM Grand and work on implementing the gameplan which the Filipino hopes will be enough to inflict a first defeat of the pound for pound king come May.
“After 13 days of strength and conditioning and boxing drills at Wild Card plus weeks more of working out in the Philippines in February, it was great to finally put on the headgear and spar,” said Pacquiao.
“My sparring partners gave me good work today. They were perfect for testing the strategy Freddie and I have developed to beat Floyd Mayweather. I was very happy with my stamina and speed today,” he added.
In other news surrounding the bout, WBN has learned that UK bidders for the rights to screen the fight live have submitted their proposals and are awaiting a final ruling. Sky Sports, BoxNation and BT Sport are said to be among the favourites to land the mega-fight.
Mayweather v Pacquiao is live on Showtime and HBO on May 2 in the US.