Manny Pacquiao Trains Through Typhoon Megi in Philippines


PHILIPPINES — Manny Pacquiao should be getting accustomed to training through typhoons by now.

The pound-for-pound king has been preparing for his upcoming fight Nov. 13 against Antonio Margarito in his native Philippines, where Typhoon Megi struck with fury this week, killing at least 20 and destroying thousands of homes and farms.

Promoter Bob Arum told The Associated Press by phone from Manila on Wednesday that Pacquiao’s training camp in the mountains near Baguio City escaped the brunt of the storm. Roads were flooded and trees knocked over, but the fighter and his entourage were safe.

“Wind and rain like you’ve never seen, really strong, strong wind,” Arum said. “Even though you’re in the mountains and a land area, it’s like when I was a kid and lived on Long Island for the summer, and we would have these hurricanes that came up the Atlantic coast.”

Pacquiao certainly has experienced this kind of distraction before.

While he was preparing for a fight against Miguel Cotto in September 2009, a pair of typhoons — Parma and Ketsana — raked across the archipelago within a week of each other, killing about 500 people in the deadliest series of storms the country had experienced in a decade. They triggered dozens of mudslides, destroyed crops and caused an estimated $600 million in damages.

Pacquiao took a break from his training during those typhoons and drove through the rain to Manila, where he handed out food and supplies to people who lost everything.

“The Cotto fight was worse. Manila was flooded and everything,” Arum said. “They were much better prepared for it this time.”

Pacquiao and his trainer Freddie Roach plan to wrap up camp in Baguio City on Thursday and drive to Manila, before leaving for Los Angeles on Saturday.

They’ll resume training camp at Roach’s Wild Card Gym on Monday.

Arum chided the champion when he arrived in the Philippines for his visit, telling Pacquiao that Margarito was in phenomenal shape at his own training camp in California. The two fighters are scheduled to meet at Cowboys Stadium, the second time that Pacquiao will headline at Jerry Jones’ opulent showplace. He defeated Joshua Clottey there in March.

Pacquiao sparred Tuesday with junior middleweight prospects Glen Tapia and Michael Medina, and junior welterweight champion Amir Khan — the young, speedy Olympic silver medalist who is also trained by Roach and defends his title against Marcos Maidana in December.

Arum said Pacquiao looked “really bad” on Saturday.

“On Monday they didn’t spar. They just hit the mitts. And he was stung by my comments,” Arum said, stifling a chuckle. “And he performed a lot better, and yesterday he looked very good.”

It hasn’t been all business during training camp — Pacquiao and his band performed at the wedding for Pacquiao’s manager, Michael Koncz. Pacquiao has sold thousands of records in the Philippines, where he also represents his district in Congress.

“It was a lot of fun,” Arum said of the party. “It was something to see.”


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