FIGHTER of the Decade Manny Pacquiao is sparring at his best this early at the Pacman Wild Card Gym in his hometown of General Santos City in preparation for his World Boxing Organization International welterweight title fi ght against Brandon Rios in Macau on Nov. 24.
This was how former twodivision world champion Gerry Penalosa saw Pacquiao after closely watching him train.
He told the Manila Standard that Philippine middleweight champion Marlon “Bonecrusher” Alta turned his back after he got caught with a solid right in a two-round battering by Pacquiao and will be replaced by “a better and stronger” Dan Nazareno, the Philippines’ No. 7-ranked junior welterweight from the stable of Rommel Nazario, son of Pacquiao’s late business manager Rod Nazario.
Nazareno has a record of 13 knockouts in 17 wins with 10 defeats, but suffered a secondround technical knockout to South Korea’s Min Wook Kim in an Oriental Pacifi c Boxing Federation title fi ght last Nov. 6.
Kim, who was supposed to be one of the sparring partners of Pacquiao, failed to show up after a reported disagreement with his manager.
Penalosa told the Manila Standard that undefeated Ghana welterweight Fredrick Lawson, who has a record 19 knockouts in 21 wins, was also no match for Pacquiao, who wobbled the sparring partner in the third round before the eight-division world champion backed off.
“Pacquiao is pushing himself hard,” said Penalosa, adding that the Filipino ring icon is determined to show that his losses to Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez have not reduced his status as an elite fi ghter.
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