Pacquiao to train alongside KIA team in Metro Manila

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KIA head coach Manny Pacquiao will train alongside his squad while preparing for Chris Algieri. Photo by Josh AlbeldaKIA head coach Manny Pacquiao will train alongside his squad while preparing for Chris Algieri. Photo by Josh Albelda

MANILA, Philippines – Eight-division boxing champion Manny Pacquiao and the Philippine Basketball Association expansion franchise KIA Motors will train at the same complex as one prepares for a welterweight title defense and the other their inaugural season.

Team manager Eric Pineda confirmed to Rappler that the WBO welterweight champion Pacquiao will train for his November 23 fight with Chris Algieri at the Azure condominium property in Bicutan, Metro Manila, while the KIA team he coaches practices 300 meters away.

The facility, which is partially owned by the company that owns KIA Motors in the Philippines, will be the franchise’s home base and is in the final stages of construction but should be operational by September, says Pineda.

“Manny wants to be hands on as far as training the basketball team so we decided to keep everything close so he doesn’t have to travel much,” said Pineda.

Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 knockouts) had prepared for his last several bouts in his hometown of General Santos City, Philippines, but will train closer to the team as it prepares for the upcoming Philippine Cup conference.

A promotional image of the yet-to-be-completed Azure. Photo from Azure's website A promotional image of the yet-to-be-completed Azure. Photo from Azure’s website

Pineda says that Pacquiao will train for boxing in the afternoons before focusing on his team’s practice from 5-8 PM, which is a similar schedule to that of Pacquiao’s normal training camps. Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach will stay at a unit on the property, while Pacquiao resides in nearby Forbes Park, Makati City.

(RELATED: ‘Master boxer’ Algieri, trainer look to shed ‘runner’ tag against Pacquiao)

At the PBA expansion draft held earlier this month KIA selected Reil Cervantes, Jai Reyes and Nic Belasco, among others and have stated they will draft the 35-year-old Pacquiao with the 11th pick in the rookie draft on August 24, making him the oldest rookie in PBA history.

“Everybody’s excited to work with Manny. Manny will train side by side for his boxing match so that will be good for the team,” says Pineda.

Pacquiao will face the New Yorker Algieri (20-0, 8 KOs) at the Venetian Resort in Macau, China, his second time fighting at that venue in his last three bouts. – Rappler.com

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