Storm Forces Pacquiao To Swim

Latigo RapperCorrespondent IOctober 15, 2009

LAS VEGAS - MAY 02:  Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines reacts after knocking down Ricky Hatton of England in the second round during their junior welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena May 2, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

First it was typhoon Ondoy that shocked the whole nation by pouring in one month's worth of rain in several areas in Manila in just a span of 12 hours. Houses were submerged and hundreds of people either drowned or were swept away by the flood leading to their eventual deaths.

It was a horrifying nightmare that shook the entire archipelago.

As usual,  the ever-generous Philippine boxing national hero Manny "Pacman" Paquiao gave a helping hand. This was actually a lot more special than his previous gift giving sessions as he personally went to visit the typhoon ravaged area to distribute relief goods instead of taking a day off from his gruelling training for his fight with Miguel Cotto.

A few days later, just when everyone thought that a calm would follow the storm, typhoon Pepeng entered the Philippines and again wreaked havoc in the northern part of the country.

This time, even Pacquiao's training camp was not spared as heavy rains hit the area. As a result, the Pacman was unable to do his routine morning road works.

Always a genius when it comes to trying times, living legend coach of the year Freddie Roach made a surprising change in Pacquiao's training regimen. Instead of jogging, he would make Pacquiao swim for about 30 minutes in the morning.

This decision of Roach has become one the most debated topics in the boxing world today especially after he publicly said that Pacquiao has been swallowing chlorine. Clearly, this shows that Pacquiao is still a beginner in the sport dominated by eight-time Olympic gold medallist Michael Phelps.

Some are now saying that this will do more damage than good while others feel it is the right thing to do given the circumstances involved. I strongly believe in the latter.

Research shows that swimming builds endurance, muscle strength and cardio-vascular fitness. It is generally referred to as the complete exercise which would involve nearly all the muscles in the body.  Furthermore, half an hour of vigorous swimming can burn 360 calories which is equivalent to running 12 kph at the same amount of time.

In the movie Rocky III, Sylvester Stallone, a.k.a. Rocky Balboa, made swimming part of his training in preparation for his match against Mr. T, a.k.a. Clubber Lang. Of course, we all know Rocky clobbered his bigger opponent.

Manny Pacquiao's November 14 encounter with Cotto is certainly no movie. But somehow I hope that this movie influenced training will make Manny a modern day Rocky and knock out his bigger Puerto Rican opponent.