The boxer and the Jack Russell terrier
Every boxer — and we’re speaking here of the human kind who puts on gloves and climbs into a ring — needs a trainer.
Manny Pacquiao needs a terrier.
“He’s part of my team,” the World Boxing Organization welterweight champion told the Wall Street Journal. “He’s a special dog.”
Pacquiao’s Jack Russell terrier, who goes by Pacman (the boxer’s nickname), is helping him train for Saturday’s welterweight bout against Timothy Bradley. The dog normally runs off leash, setting a speedy pace for Pacquiao on streets and trails around Los Angeles.
Pacquiao hasn’t lost a fight since Pacman came into his life.
The dog lives most of the time in Los Angeles, where Pacquiao trains, and he often travels to the Philippines when his owner works out there. He’ll also join the boxer for fights in Las Vegas, where he stays at the pet-friendly Mandalay Bay.
Pacquiao, whose childhood dog was reportedly cooked and eaten by his estranged father, slept with Pacman at first, until he realized he was allergic to dog hair.
Pacman has nearly passed out from climbing the hills in Baguio City and scurried after coyotes while sprinting ahead of Pacquiao in their frequent jogs up to the Hollywood sign, the article reports.
Pacquiao, since his last fight in November, has been working to sharpen his focus and eliminate distractions like gambling and drinking. Pacman, while he may or may not help with that, does serve to encourage the boxer — both by setting the pace and through the enthusiasm that, being a Jack Russell terrier, he brings to the job.
“I kind of feel like he’s now the Woody in ‘Toy Story,’” said Brian Livingston, a marathoner who paces Pacquiao. “He’s become part of the menagerie.”
Other fighters have relied on dogs over the years, according the Journal story. Floyd Patterson went on 4 a.m. runs with two German shepherds named Charlie Brown and Whitey. George Foreman brought his German Shepherd to Africa to help train for the Rumble in the Jungle with Muhammad Ali.
While Pacquiao trains in California, Noel Lautengco serves as Pacman’s dog-sitter. He stays with the dog at a Hollywood motel, where Pacman sleeps on a bed with a pink spread. As a puppy, Lautengco says, Pacman scratched and clawed through three hotel couches that Pacquiao replaced.
Pacman is more than just a mascot, Pacquiao’s people say. He drove the fighter to train harder than ever by running ahead of the pack. “Nobody could keep up with that dog,” said Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer.
In recent months though, the dog has put on some weight.
“He’s getting old. He’s become fat,” Pacquiao said.
(Photos: Top photo from Manny Pacquiao’s official website; photo of Pacman the dog by Dan Krauss, for the Wall Street Journal)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 5th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, ate, boxer, boxers, boxing, california, champion, dogs, fighter, floyd patterson, george foreman, jack russell, jack russell terrier, las vegas, los angeles, mandalay bay, Manny Pacquiao, off-leash, pace, pacman, pets, philippines, running, setting, sports, terrier, timothy bradley, trainer, training, wall street journal, welterweight