Opening scene is the ritualistic placing of the gear that prepares pound for pound fighter Manny Pacquiao for war with the setting of the Hollywood Gym that is now a symbol of boxing culture; The Wild Card Gym owned by trainer Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach. Pacquiao drives through streets laced with palm trees and sunshine, and Roach explains for his fighter his reasons for getting to the city filled with movie stars, explaining he had political obligations yet still came to the United States via LAX in training shape and ready to go.
“Training camp is good. So far, so good,” says the Pac Man, who is wrapping his own hands in preparation for sparring day at the Wild Card. “Hard work,” says Pacquiao, a play off his rival to be/never be and his three word motto, the Mayweather ‘hard work, dedication’ chant.
A cool G is offered to any sparring partner to down Pacquiao, a sum that has been offered in the last few camps with no known recipients to date. If it were the opposite, Pacquiao would be getting paid as a head geared opponent goes bye-bye from a left hand. A moment of silence is given for a Pacquiao prayer, a Roach tries to slide a G to the Pac Man, who does not accept. “He doesn’t gamble anymore. I’m happy,” says the HOF trainer.
Flash south of the border to Mexico City, where the ‘Romanza Boxing Gym’ has been the setting since October for training duties of Juan Manuel Marquez. “We’re working on building power and speed,” says JMM, who then hits the pads and fields instruction from his HOF trainer, Nacho Beristain.
“Last time I was really nervous,” says Beristain of the lack of speed in III last November, and hopes to be all ready for Las Vegas this next go around for IV. Sparring is closed for cameras, and afterwards a newly set speed bag is dethroned after two punches. More work is needed, as well as a need for ‘cupping’ a therapeutic exercise utilizing cups that fill up patches of JMM’s back like oversized grapes.
The Hollywood street lined with names etched in stars and impersonators of Hollywood types and even a faux Don King is shown as Pacquiao enters the ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ studio.
“I like Jimmy Kimmel and the fans,” says Pacquiao as he makes his seventh appearance.
You quit drinking, gambling and cockfighting, and for the first time in seven years, you lost the fight… will you go back to drinking, gambling and cockfighting?” says Kimmel in some to notch comedy before an intro into the Pacquiao/Rodriguez 24/7 bit that prompted ABC to re-air the skit.
Team Pacquiao is then seen relaxing with darts and chess in his Hollywood chill pad, with a jovial Pac Man laughing with his cohorts and enjoying some downtime.
It’s all work for JMM as he gets up for a pre-dawn workout at an Olympic facility in Mexico, tossing a medicine ball and running drills to work on speed. JMM likes the strength and training regimen and caps it off with a track-run that included sprints from a laid position and from standing.
An interesting note is that the sun is still not up in the sky when JMM is finished.
S&T trainer Angel Heredia’s seedy past is brought up, to which Heredia chalks up a ‘I was young and dumb’ reasoning and JMM chimes in with a ‘test me anytime, anyplace’ stance to prove there is nothing fishy going on in preparations for IV. “Testing is always welcome,” caps of Heredia.
‘Casa De Roach’ is shown as the trainer locks his door and hops in a high class Mercedes en route to the Wild Card and Roach reminisces on what was supposed to be in his life plan, and what turned into a decision to go out West for gold, to which Roach cleaned up finding a Philippine sensation that would make the trainer and his gym world renowned. The pictures that line the gym are displayed as narrator Shreiber brings up Roach’s other 2012 losses and Roach discusses the split between him and Amir Khan, and Roach candidly admits it has been tough watching his fighters JCCJ and Khan lose under his guidance.
The ins and outs of the sweet science are beautifully displayed as trainer and fighter exchange blows, then another border trip shows Beristain cranking up some Beethoven for some R&R, and Beristain breathes into an apparatus while watching film and discusses his health scare that prompted him to put down the cigar. The 73-year-young Beristain logs some laps on the treadmill and reminisces on his prized pupil. Beristain is 25 champions deep in his training career and states he’ll keep pushing to get to 30.
Mitt work, pads, weight training and mean mug stares are shown in split sequence as the two fighters prepare at their respective gyms, and the Pac Man says he’s going KO, and JMM states it’s starting to get personal, and that that’s exactly how IV will be.
The weigh in will be aired live by HBO at 3PM PT, followed by the finale of 24/7, and fight night begins at 6PM on HBO PPV from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.