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Cramps fail to stop Pacquiao training

Manny Pacquiao did not show any sign of the flu virus that sidelined him during the weekend as he engaged in 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. It turned out he was hit by cramps.

“Parang tinutusok ng karayom,” said Pacquiao, grimacing, as a member of his training team massaged his right calf to ease the pain.

Manny Pacquiao gets ready to plunge into heavy training. (Nick Giongco)

Manny Pacquiao gets ready to plunge into heavy training. (Nick Giongco)

When the pain dissipated, local sparmate Leonardo Doronio was called to provide three rounds to bring his sparring session to eight rounds, two rounds short of what trainer Freddie Roach had initially wanted.

Roach was aware that Pacquiao had just come down with the flu and decided to slow it down during their session at the Elorde gym at the Mall of Asia. But Pacquiao had other plans.

Instead of pulling his punches, Pacquiao went out with fists flying as he matched Ramirez’s energy 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 imitated 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 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 and engaged Roach for five rounds with the mitts.

Pacquiao pleaded for another round but Roach got out of the ring. Apparently still not satisfied with what he did, Pacquiao went to the heavy bag and speedball to finish the day.

His team said 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.

Fortune is not alarmed though that an old problem has reared its ugly head.

“That’s an easy fix,” he added.