Sen. Manny Pacquiao shook off the flu virus that sidelined him during the weekend after an intense workout Tuesday night for his buildup for the Nov. 5 clash with Jessie Vargas in Las Vegas.
But an old problem resurfaced during the tail end of his five-round sparring session with Jose Ramirez when he complained of a shooting pain on his right calf.
“Parang tinutusok ng karayom,” said Pacquiao, grimacing, as a member of his training team caressed his right calf to try and ease the pain.
When it seemed that the pain was dissipating, local sparmate Leonardo Doronio was called in to provide three rounds for the day’s total of eight although trainer Freddie Roach had initially wanted Pacquiao to spar ten rounds.
Since Pacquiao is recovering from the flu, Roach decided to slow it down a bit.
But Pacquiao had none of it.
Instead of pulling his punches, Pacquiao went out with guns ablaze as he matched Ramirez’s two-fisted attack with his own brand of mayhem.
Early in the sparring, Ramirez cracked Pacquiao with consecutive right hands to the head as the 5-10 Mexican-American assumed the fighting style of Vargas.
Pacquiao got back at Ramirez in the succeeding rounds just before he suffered from cramps as their workout looked more like an actual fight than a mere sparring session.
When it was all over, Pacquiao was told to just rest his legs but he acted as if he didn’t hear anything, engaging Roach for five rounds with the mitts.
Pacquiao pleaded for another round but Roach got out of the ring, leaving the fighter with no other choice but to vent his ire on the heavybag and speedball.
As it turns out, the cramping was the result of the roadwork that was done earlier in the day.
“Instead of just jogging, he ran and did sprints,” said strength coach Justin Fortune, who promised to put the brakes on the 37-year-old fighter the next time.
“When he does his roadwork, he should be just cruising,” said Fortune.
Still, Fortune is not alarmed that an old problem has reared its ugly head.
“That’s (cramps) an easy fix,” he added.