CHICAGO — A thick crowd of Manny Pacquiao’s friends, supporters and running mates gathered outside the legendary fighter’s Los Angeles residence on Friday waiting for him to emerge and carry on with his usual morning jog routine.
The huge wooden doors of the gated refuge flung open several times, ushering in and out several Team Pacquiao members. But The Man himself — Manny — did not emerge.
A source told Boxing News and Views that Pacquiao had stayed awake late the night before.
His calves, the fulcrum of his power and strength, were bothering him so much so that a reflexologist was summoned to alleviate the situation.
Concerns hung and lingered in the dry Los Angeles air.
Whispers were said.
And the “O” word was uttered.
Had Pacquiao suffered the ill-effects of over training?
Nonsense, says Aquiles Zonio, Pacquiao’s media relations officer who acknowledged that while there was some discomfort in the champ’s calves, Pacquiao’s trainers held him off from running simply out of an abundance of caution.
And Zonio made this implicitly clear: Though out Pacquiao’s Hall-of-Fame campaign, one that made him the sport’s only eight-division champ — Pacquiao has never over trained.
And he isn’t about to do it now in the twilight of a magnificent career.
To the contrary, Pacquiao —- chiseled like a Greek god and honed like a well-oiled machine— is ready to inflict upon Adrien Broner a beating when they square off January 19 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
The only “O” that matters here is the KO that Manny is planning in defense of his WBA welterweight belt.
Photo credit and caption — Aquiles Zonio (L) with Manny Pacquiao following the Senator’s quick demolition of Kucas Mathhysse last July in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.