LOS ANGELES – Buboy Fernandez badly wants the old, fiery Manny Pacquiao to show up a little over a week from now against American Adrien Broner.
Fernandez, Pacquiao’s childhood buddy who has risen to become the Filipino icon’s lead trainer —for the second straight bout now — said he told his best friend to bring back the ring swagger that endeared him to fans.
The marching order for Pacquiao would be to try and take Broner out if the opportunity presents itself, but not to the point that he’d let his guard down.
“Laging kong sinasabi sa kanya na try mong tandaan: Yung hinahanap sa iyo ng mga kababayan mo ay yung maging maangas ka sa ibabaw ng ring (I always tell him to remember that your countrymen are expecting you to have that swagger in the ring),” Pacquiao’s lead cornerman said after wrapping up another training session at the Wild Card Gym here Friday.
Overweight but determined and full of character, Fernandez has managed to keep up with Pacquiao’s frenetic pace from Manila and General Santos City late last year to Freddie Roach’s famous sweatshop the past few weeks.
The other day, he endured a brutal mitts session with Pacquiao that left his hand shaking afterwards.
But for Fernandez, the pain and hard work are necessary to achieve the goal, which is to ensure Pacquiao will turn in a better performance than his seventh-round stoppage of Lucas Matthysse last year.
Pacquiao himself said he is determined to fashion out another rousing win.
Fernandez, for his part, keeps reminding his ward how he can make it happen against Broner.
“Nandyan ka na eh, magagawa at magagawa mo yun. Huwag mong bigyan ng pagkakataon ang kalaban mo na makasilip sa iyo. Pag nakakita tayo ng pintuan dyan, pasukin na natin yan (You’re already there, you can always do it. Don’t give your opponent a chance to study you. If get a chance [for a knockout], go for it,” he said.