Two years removed from the most controversial fight of his 19-year professional career, Manny Pacquiao is focused on getting a chance to set the record straight against Timothy Bradley Jr.
The rematch, set for Saturday in Las Vegas (HBO PPV), marks the first time the fighters will meet since their June 2012 bout -- won by Bradley via split decision -- which produced some of the most contentious scorecards in modern history.
Pacquiao (55-5-2, 38 KOs), 35, enters the bout one fight removed from a wide unanimous-decision win over Brandon Rios in November -- a fight that served as a comeback for Pacquiao following his December 2012 knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez.
Describe a typical day in and out the gym. Your relationship with your coach Freddie Roach. You dine together, watch film together?
I train Monday through Saturday every week of training camp. It is a strict schedule that allows my body to rest between morning and afternoon sessions so that I can perform my training at my best. Everything is geared to one goal, peaking physically and mentally on April 12 -- fight day.
At sunrise, I usually head over to one of three areas that I rotate and run several miles. I no longer run hills every day, and that has eliminated the leg cramps I had suffered from, beginning with my fight with Shane Mosley in 2011. After my run, Justin Fortune, who is my strength and conditioning coach, runs me though a series of drills that are designed to improve my speed and agility. By 8 a.m., I return home for breakfast with my camp and then a take a nap.
I usually arrive at Wild Card Boxing Club at 1 p.m. for a three-hour session with Freddie. Sparring takes place Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays while I work the mitts with Freddie every day. Then it’s a circuit on the double-end bag, the heavy bag, the speed bag, jumping rope and hundreds of situps. The session ends with strength drills with Justin. It’s during the afternoon session that Freddie and I interact and discuss, design and execute our strategy for defeating Tim Bradley. We know what we have to do to beat him.
After training we go to a Thai restaurant near the gym for lunch and then head back home where I relax, play chess with my friends or watch a movie a home, followed by dinner. After dinner I read the Bible or discuss it with my friends, and I’m usually in bed by 10 p.m.
Freddie has been a father to me, a brother and a best friend since the day we met. I cannot overstate his importance to me and how much he has impacted my life. I am a better person for having Freddie in my life. We are a team. In the gym, I call him Master Freddie. He is the boss and he is the teacher. And even though we do not spend as much time together as we used to, we will always have a special bond that will remain strong for the rest of our lives.