Manila Bulletin, Philippines
April 5 2004

Another Pacquiao sparmate punished


By winneleo campos


LOS ANGELES - At the end of six bruising rounds atop the ring,
Armenian Art Simonyan playfully planted a kick on Manny Pacquiao's
behind. It was the only time he had the upperhand on the Filipino
pug.


Stepping up his preparation for a May 8 bout against world
featherweight king Juan Manuel Marquez, Pacquiao knocked down the
undefeated Armenian in the first round of a sparring session at
Freddie Roach's Wild Card gym in Hollywood.

A few days after cracking the rib of another Armenian fighter, Kahren
Harutyunyan, in training, the 25-year old GenSan southpaw sent
Simonyan to the canvas with a left straight even before fans who had
come to watch him at the gym could settle in their places.

He held back the rest of the way, finishing the six rounds on his
heels then responded to Simonyan's kick with a spinning back-kick
that narrowly missed his opponent's head.

Simonyan is 13-0-1 (win-loss-draw) as a pro and has never been
knocked down in his career, sources said.

"Masaya si Manny sa ensayo, kumakain ng tama at focused na focused
doon sa laban," said Lito Mondejar, a member of Team Pacquiao.

Pacquiao has now got it 18 rounds of sparring on
Monday-Wednesday-Friday sessions in preparation for his bout with
Marquez, whose WBA and IBF featherweight titles the Filipino covets
to legitimize his claim to be the king of the world in the division.

Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays are reserved for gym work,
calisthenics and sessions with the punch mitt with Roach.

"Manny is easy to deal with. He assimilates everything that you teach
him and he learns things very fast," said Roach, unable to hide his
satisfaction over the pace of Pacquiao's preparation.

On Monday, a new sparring partner that will come all the way from
Mexico will be fed to Pacquiao to give him a new perspective on how
to adapt to a fight.

Roach said the boxer fights like Marquez in some ways.

At the end of sparring sessions, Pacquiao, together with Filipino
trainer Buboy Fernandez and Mondejar, studied Marquez's fight tapes
and took note of several weaknesses in his opponent's style, whose
technical approach to boxing had been his meal ticket to success.

"Makikita na lang niya sa laban ang inihahanda namin," said Pacquiao
of his fight plan. "Magaling s'ya sa counter-punching pero papasukin
namin siya."