By Dennis Principe
Filipino boxing sensation Manny Pacquiao began his training camp feeling upbeat about their stay here in Baguio City, the Philippines “Summer Capital” located approximately 250 kilometers north of Manila. Pacquiao did six rounds of punch mitts, three rounds of shadow boxing and some more time hitting the speed ball and skipping rope witnessed by a rather controlled observers composed mostly of local media and Manila-based networks. The training, held at the Shape-Up Gym located inside the Cooyeesan Hotel along Naguillan Road lasted for a little over two hours.
Pacquiao and Filipino trainer Buboy Fernandez later on admitted that regaining their timing and stamina will be a concern in the next few days.
“Its normal for him to be a bit sluggish but his power and speed is still there,” said Fernandez.
Pacquiao is preparing for his 12-round world welterweight title fight against defending champion Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico on November 14 at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Asked if American guru Freddie Roach has some reservations in staging their training camp in Baguio, Pacquiao is confident the legendary trainer will like the set-up.
“Freddie will like it here not only because of the set-up but also of the place and its people,” added Pacquiao.
Roach is expected to arrive in the country Tuesday morning along with conditioning expert Alex Ariza.
“Being in Baguio is just like being in the United States. The weather is quite similar,” Pacquiao told Fightnews “The best thing about the set-up here is that the training facilities are just inside the hotel where I’m staying.”
The Cooyeesan Hotel is actually a shopping mall but its rooms are located atop the stalls, with its main entrance tightly-guarded by the hotel‘s security as well as Pacquiao‘s own security group which he calls Pacquiao Security Group (PSG).
After training Pacquiao played basketball with his entourage and some friends who went here to watch the pound-for-pound king’s initial training. The hotel boasts of its own basketball court and billiards tables.