Counting down less than 30 days: Manny Pacquiao, the pound-for-pound king of the ring, will defend his welterweight title against "Sugar" Shane Mosley on May 7 at the glittering MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas.
For the past month, Shawn "Showtime" Porter has been getting a piece of Pacman on the daily reg. Porter is the secret weapon in Pacquiao's training. Standing 5'7" and weighing 154 pounds, he is the undefeated North American Boxing Federation welterweight champion.
After Porter's most-recent title defense in February—a unanimous decision on ESPN's "Friday Night Fights"—the Akron, Ohio native traveled to the Philippines to take part in Pacquiao's training camp as Pacman's main sparring partner leading up to his May 7 bout with Mosley.
This is not Porter's first tilt with the best fighter on the planet. "Showtime" was summoned to the Philippines in 2009 to help Pacquiao prepare for his bout with Miguel Cotto. Pacman's camp was so impressed that they invited Porter back a year later in advance of the Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey match.
"I always give Manny a run for his money," Porter told examiner.com this week. "I think I'm one of not many who can just about match his speed and quickness."
The Pacquiao camp landed in Los Angeles this past week, where Pacman will close out training camp before leaving for Las Vegas. Porter will be there in the opposite corner, giving Pacquiao a sampling of what he should expect from Mosley.
Pacquiao's training camp regimen is top secret, especially since most of his pre-fight preparation occurs in his native land. Consequently, his workouts have taken on mythical proportions. A 2009 report quoted Pacman saying he performs 4,000 Sit-Ups a day: 2,000 in the morning and 2,000 after his gym and sparring sessions.
While we don't know about Pacquiao's training routine, STACK does know about Porter's workouts. Refining his boxing fundamentals and technique is the top priority in his camp, along with countless bouts of sparring and additional gym work. Little, if any, weight training is performed leading up to a fight. But still, Porter says, "I've never boxed without training. Practice, practice, practice, and it pays off."
Porter balances his gym work and conditioning with agility training and plyometrics—and, like his mentor Pacquiao, plenty of core work. "We're constantly working on his legs, because that's where he generates his power," says his father and trainer, Ken Porter.
By working his legs as he does with the agility/plyo series in the video above, Porter is building lower-body power while conditioning his body and improving foot speed and change of direction. Also, it's one of his favorite drills. His father says, "Shawn is a former football player, and he really likes any activity that reminds him of playing football."
We need not remind you that the performance attributes these fighters work on—conditioning, agility, change of direction—are indispensable for success in all sports, not just boxing. Go a few rounds with the drill, and check back in the coming weeks for more drills from Porter.
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock