FORMER General Santos City native Nonito Donaire Sr. was tapped to lend his expertise and beef up Manny Pacquiao’s think-tank in preparation for the Filipino’s title bid against Lucas Matthysse on July 15 at the Axiata Arena in Malaysia.
A week after opening training camp, Pacquiao added Donaire to help out in plotting tactical plans against Matthysse, the reigning WBA welterweight champion from Argentina.
“Donaire will serve as one of the assistant coaches,” said Pacquiao, who did two trial rounds with the mitts with the father of former world champion Nonito Donaire (Junior).
“It was Donaire Sr. who trained and honed his son, who later won multiple former world championships in three weight divisions.
“So far, so good. I am happy with my current team,” said Pacquiao, who took two days off on Saturday and Sunday to rest and relax, coming off a controversial loss last year in Australia against local brawler Jeff Horn.
Pacquiao went scuba diving Sunday and was refreshed to do his roadwork the morning after. Pacquiao is trying to have an all-Filipino line-up in his bid to win his 11th world title against a formidable opponent who has knocked out 36 of his 39 wins or a whopping 92 percent ratio. Matthysse has only lost four times in his career.
Another former Philippine national team coach based in the US was scheduled to join Pacquiao’s coaching staff should he pass the standards set by the Filipino champion.
Long-time friend and confidant Buboy Fernandez would still act as head coach along with assistant trainer Raides “Nonoy” Neri.
Pacquiao is still about to name another team member soon, the person who will help him in his strength and conditioning, to complete the cast.