As Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley prepare for their bout in Las Vegas this weekend, Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix brings up a new angle to the tale of 'Pac-Man,' the tale of his religious awakening.
Manny is and has been an entertainer, often singing to the crowds after fights and spending long nights on the town. But Pacquiao has traded all that in for Bible Study in the evenings, focusing all of his efforts on his upcoming bought with Bradley:
There is a new twist to Pacquiao. He has undergone a religious awakening these last eight months, morphing from, as he described himself to me, "an immoral man" into a deeply religious one. He has gone from a man who indulged in heavy drinking, gambling and womanizing to a committed one who has eliminated every vice from his life.
The 33 year old may not be as spry as he used to be, but his lack of long nights have certainly had an affect on his training regimen, which trainer Freddy Roach admits is much better:
"His focus is very good," Roach said. "We don't have days where he comes in tired, because he has no nightlife whatsoever, besides the Bible study. He is very focused on the fight. He and God are very close right now and he is just a better athlete, with no distractions."
Roach has made sure to get rid of his old sparring partners, bringing in new hungry ones that aren't chummy with the champ, and has done some slight rearranging of his regimin to suit Bradley's style. Roach didn't feel he is in Manny's league though:
Roach calls Bradley a good fighter but doesn't think he is in Pacquiao's league. "I have been watching Bradley a lot and he doesn't rely very much on counterpunching," Roach said. "He is very offensive. He comes to fight, which will make it a good fight for everybody. We have the game plan set after watching many, many tapes of Bradley. Manny should have a very good fight on Saturday."
We'll have to just wait and see.
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