Every day there's a new report popping up about how IBO junior welterweight champ Manny Pacquiao has brought in bigger and meaner sparring partners to help him prepare for his upcoming bout with WBO welterweight champ Miguel Cotto. To date Pacquiao's best known sparring partners are Shawn Porter, who campaigns as a junior middleweight, and Urbano Antillon, who, fighting as a lightweight, is the smallest of Pacquiao's sparmates.
Last week former WBC lightweight champ champ Jose Luis Castillo was brought in to work with Manny. Castillo is a great addition to the Pacquiao camp as long as he's in decent shape. Jose was a strong aggressive fighter who liked to push the fight and wasn't all that easy to hit when he was at his best. His purpose for working with Pacquiao is to emulate Cotto's style and help acclimate Pacquiao to being pressured by a strong and powerful fighter the likes of Cotto.
Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach said he's planing to insert Castillo in place of Antillon to help his fighter get used to being banged on by opponents bigger than him. Yesterday a report appeared in GMANews.TV that Castillo suffered a bloodied nose after three rounds of sparring with Pacquiao.
In fact it appeared as such, “the 35-year-old Castillo (60-9-1, 52 knockouts) ended his first day of sparring with specks of blood on his left nostril, an incident that never got printed in the national dailies.”
There's been no reporting of the incident?! So what! It was a meaningless first sparring session between two world class fighters. Castillo had a bloodied nose after three rounds, I guess Pacquiao might as well skip Cotto and Mayweather and fight one of the Klitschko brothers.
Has the frenzy surrounding Pacquiao gotten so out of proportion that some writers have lost their mind?
Here's a little secret to some of the writers who want to anoint Manny Pacquiao the greatest fighter in boxing history. He's not. Also, fighters get bloody noses all the time during training. And a lot of times the fighter who received the bloody nose is the one who actually got the better of it. I was on both sides of that circa 1977-83. Fighters like Pacquiao, Mayweather, Mosley and Roy Jones will often give their sparring partners a bloody nose because they've got fast hands and they're very accurate with their punch placement. In addition to that there are some fighters who get a bloody nose the first time they're touched with a jab even with big gloves and head gear on. That's not saying Jose Luis Castillo is one of them.
How many times between rounds during a fight do we see a cotton swab placed inside a fighter's nostrils, and it doesn't matter if he's winning or losing. Often times the swab coming out of the fighters nostril has blood on it and he hasn't even been hit that much.
The Pacquiao hysteria is out of control with some factions. The PacMan's power and speed has injected a welcome infusion of excitement into professional boxing throughout the world, and that's a good thing. Add to that his willingness to move up in weight and fight the top fighters available has increased his stardom, and it may not have even peaked yet. However, the reporting surrounding his first few rounds sparring as he prepares for Miguel Cotto has been a little excessive.
Just in case boxing fans all over the world missed it; Manny Pacquiao bloodied former two time lightweight champ Jose Luis Castillo's nose this week during the three rounds of sparring they did.
So what, it's totally meaningless.
Salute the National dailies for not going crazy and making it a headline above the fold because it wasn't warranted.
Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedFist@Gmail.com