BAGUIO CITY — Manny Pacquiao smiled when told about the arrival of his rugged Russian sparring partner next week.
“He is coming from Siberia,” trainer Freddie Roach told Pacquiao, who was getting ready for Friday’s workout here at the Shape Up Gym.
Ruslan Provodnikov is arriving in Manila with his trainer on Monday and will immediately be whisked to this scenic and cool city that will play host to Pacquiao’s training camp until the first week of May in line with the June 9 showdown with Tim Bradley in Las Vegas.
“From Russia with Love,” said Pacquiao, smiling.
Roach said Provodnikov, whose style resembles that of Bradley, will end up banging bodies with Pacquiao four times before they proceed to Los Angeles.
Provodnikov is short and compact like Bradley, according to Roach, who has been heaving praises on Pacquiao.
“He just has a tremendous work ethic,” said the 52-year-old Roach, who is in his 11th year calling the shots in Pacquiao’s corner.
The Bradley match will be Pacquiao’s 22nd fight on US soil.
A 3-1 favorite, Pacquiao is hoping to get back to his old ways after failing to stop his last four foes.
“I am confident he will get a knockout this time,” added Roach.