July 11, 2019
LOS ANGELES: The arrival here of wife Jinkee and their children added spark on Manny Pacquiao’s preparations for his coming rendezvous with co-WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman nine days from now.
Jinkee and children Emmanuel Jr. (Jimuel), Michael, Mary Divine Grace (Princess), Queen Elizabeth (Queenie) and Israel landed here last week to lend the WBA regular 147-pound crown-holder support in his build up program and July 20 (July 21 in Manila) unification date with “One Time” at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas.
“We’re here, Mom, my brothers and sisters to extend our all-out support, as usual, to Dad in his preparedness as well as for his July 20 fight,” Jimuel, said to follow in his father’s footsteps told this writer on the day they set their foot here.
On the day Jimuel, 18, and younger brother Michael, 17, first attended their dad’s workout at the Wild Gym, Pacquiao couldn’t hide the happiness on his face as he pummelled his pair of sparring mates – with razor sharp shots that could have knocked them down had it not for the head protectors they were wearing.
On Monday at the start the eight-division champ’s tapering off and mental toughness stage of the run up program, Jimuel joined his father in working the mitts – Pacquiao with training consultant Freddie Roach and Jimuel with assistant trainer Marvin Somodio.
As the father-son tandem were wounding up the day’s session, Pacquiao even gave Jimuel tips on how to throw combinations and footwork to the delight of the crowd.
The father even threw a joke at the son: “If I train you for six months, you’ll be good. I, however, will be very strict with you,” drawing laughter from spectators.
Even Roach and strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune nodded in approval to what they were witnessing, which in ordinary circumstance they will consider as a form of distraction to the training.
“No, this is not a distraction. This is a good sign in our efforts to restore Manny’s mental toughness he seemed lost due to Thurman’s insulting remarks on Manny,” Fortune noted.
“We owe to welcome this and continue allowing this thing to happen this entire week before we leave for Vegas next Monday,” Fortune relayed.
Earlier that day at the Griffith mountains during the figting senator’s morning workout, Jimuel was there, too, joining his dad in shadow boxing and exercises.
“Sino ba naman ang hindi magagalak na makita ang maybahay mo at lahat ng anak na personal na sinusuportahan ka? Nakakataba ng puso, di ba?,” Pacquiao, for his part said.
“Of course, their presence, most especially my children, elates me no end as this marks the rare time that all of them appeared in my training camp,” said Pacquiao, his eyes glowing.
Roach, likewise, noted the positive change in Pacquiao’s body language, saying: “Manny’s very happy and when he’s happy, it spells disaster to who he is fighting.”
Besides Pacquiao’s immediate family, also in town are the Pacquiao’s martriarch Aling Dionisia “Mommy D,” newly-elected party list congressman Bobby, wife Lorrelie and children; re-elected representative Roel and family, sister Isidra and husband Ramel and children.
Jinkee’s sisters Janet and Heidi and families are also in here in L.A.
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