Friction, what friction?
Was how Many Pacquiao’s chief trainer Buboy Fernandez greeted this Outsider in the second day of the World Boxing Association welterweight champion’s training camp on Tuesday at the Elorde Boxing Gym inside the vast Mall of Asia commercial complex in Pasay.
Your Outsider wanted his thoughts on the reported brewing trouble within the camp as an offshoot of Pacquiao’s surprising decision to rehire his former trainer of 16 years Freddie Roach to supervise the current preparation the reigning 147-pound titlist is undergoing.
“Fake news ‘yun,” the fortly boyhood pal of the fighting senator averred with a mixture of joke and sincerity. “Kayo talagang media, hilig nyong guluhin ang maayos na sitwasyon,” Buboy said smiling. “Wala namang gulo, sasabihin n’yo agad magkakagulo.”
Turning serious, Buboy said what prevailed in the team upon hearing Pacquiao’s decision on Roach was surprise. “Medyo na-surprise talaga kami. Wala kaming kahina-hinalang may ganung desisyong gagawin. So, when media men approached me and of other members of the team, me, in particular couldn’t offer any answer to their questions.”
Buboy added the more surprised was he when he read the following day that he, along with conditioning coach was hurt by the decision and will oppose it, etc. “Wala akong sinabing ganoong mga bagay na gagawin namin. Sino ba kami para mag-oppose sa desisyon ng boss?”
“What those who wrote this thing still didn’t know is we take seriously the slogan ‘Manny Knows’. Meaning lahat ng aming ginagawa tungkol sa boxing career ni Manny ay galing sa utak n’ya at sa utak naming na pinagsama-sama. Even the way we will conduct his training here in he country is a product of our collegial efforts that comprises in one program.”
Buboy, who is taking a time out from his campaigning for vice mayor if Polangui in Albay to preside over Pacquiao;’s preps for hi coming fight with challenger Adrien Broner, explained that what they have started as training scheme serves as the foundation of what and they will do in the next seven weeks of preparations. Gagawin naming lahat dito’ ‘yan sa camp sa Manila, bring it over to GenSan to Los Angeles the next three weeks and Las Vegas, the last week of our preparedness program.
“We, Justin, Haplas (Fernandez) and Nonoy (Neri) and everybody in the training team are one in implementing all these the past at week without coach Freddie having any say and with the approval of Manny. We will continue doing them when we move to GenSan in the second leg of the program, to Los Angeles in the third stop then to Las Vegas on the final week.”
Pacquiao’s subsequent order was, according to Buboy was clear: Coach Freddie’s job will be supervisory in nature. He can suggest whatever it is, or are, in his mind and we’ll follow them for as long as they fit the program. We’re one in this undertaking: To make Manny at his best comes fight time and win. Anything contrary to that should not be allowed.”
“Hindi naman sa kami’y nagyayabang or something to that effect, but we, this team, believe we’ve just found the way how to bring Manny back to his old fighting form during his last fight against (Lucas) Matthysse, whom he knocked out to win back the welterweight title na hindi nagawa noong nakalipas na siyam na taon.
“When Manny lost nga to (Jeff) Horn, sabi ng marami mag-retire na, laos na. But we, Manny himself, believed otherwise. So, we formulated a program, we implemented it and we proved our point albeit shocking the non-believers, who had the temerity to diagnose that it was Matthysse pala who’s washed out and not Manny in their effort to belittle Manny’s accomplishment.
“What they conveniently forgot was in the entire 12 weeks of preparations, the longest we had, ay ginugol namin ang lahat ng gabi at araw noong buong tatlong buwang iyon para pag-aralan kung paanong makapagpapatulog muli si Manny ng kalaban.”
“We’re only given a much shorter time preparing for this coming fight, but believe me, alam na namin kung paano talunin si Broner. We’ll again show all and sundry, especially his fans, how striking, how fast, how smart Manny still is.”