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Pacquiao drops Gonzales in sparring

MANNY Pacquiao, determined to hunt down World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Timothy Bradley in their eagerly-awaited rematch at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on April 12, showed his intentions in sparring 12 rounds, during which he dropped super featherweight Roger “Speedy” Gonzalez yesterday.

Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz told the Manila Standard that while he was not at the Wild Card Gym because he was working on the hotel rooming list, he heard “sparring was 12 rounds and was great, with Manny knocking down ‘Speedy’ Gonzalez.”

The 25-year-old Gonzalez has a record of 28-6 with 16 knockouts and has faced such formidable opponents as world champion Yuriorkis Gamboa, to whom he lost by a 10th-round TKO and Cornelius Lock, to whom he also lost by exactly the same finish.

Trainer Freddie Roach recruited Gonzalez for speed as his nickname indicates, while former world junior lightweight champion Steve Forbes was regarded as a good and intelligent  boxer, undefeated Lydell Rhodes whose nose has been bloodied by Pacquiao a couple of times in sparring, who fights like Bradley  and outstanding light welterweight Julian Rodriguez, who often engages in furious exchanges with the Filipino.

As Pacquiao pursues a relentless training schedule  in which he has vowed to hunt down Bradley to the delight of Roach and strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune, Koncz said that the mood in the training camp of the eight-division world  champion and Fighter of the Decade is “terrific.”

While Bradley continues to belittle Pacquiao’s punching power and claims he has lost his killer instinct, his trainer Joel Diaz appears peeved that all the big-name personalities  in show business and sports continue to flock to the Wild Card Gym to watch Pacquiao train, including Mexican legends Julio Cezar Chavez and Marco Antonio Barrera, the legendary Bob Dylan and singer Ashanti and many others.

In his closing remarks at an international conference all, Diaz said: “I hope everyone comes to our workout at Fortune Gym “because no one comes to our gym to see him (Bradley) train.”

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