MANILA, Philippines - Save for his big boss's first two fights on United States shores, Buboy Fernandez has been lending a hand to Freddie Roach in taking charge of Manny Pacquiao's corner since 2002.
So when Fernandez, whose association with Pacquiao stretches back to the days of the old Team Pacquiao, says his childhood chum is right on target, you better believe him.
Fernandez said Pacquiao is on cue with three weeks remaining before the May 7 welterweight war with Shane Mosley and that the training of the pound-for-pound king hardly misses a beat.
"Walang tayong kaba sa laban,"said Fernandez said from Los Angeles.
Fernandez wasn't actually bragging when he uttered those words since he has been assisting Roach the past few weeks and is the man in charge in the brief absence of the Wild Card guru.
Roach left for England earlier in the week to call the shots in the corner of British star Amir Khan, who has a fight scheduled Saturday in Manchester.
Pacquiao adviser Mike Koncz said Roach will be back at the Wild Card on Monday to resume training the 32-year-old Pacquiao.
Of course, Fernandez is not basing his assessment of Pacquiao's winning chances on sheer friendship alone as he has been doing his homework by studying Mosley's fights almost every single night before he goes to bed.
Asked if he has already placed his bet, Fernandez brushed the suggestion aside.
"Ang importante ay manalo," said Fernandez, who is not at all bothered by the 6-1 odds that favor Pacquiao.
Based on what Fernandez has been seeing in the gym, it appears that Pacquiao's lofty billing among oddsmakers could really be fit and proper.
Fernandez made his US debut as an assistant to Roach when Pacquiao faced Jorge Eliecer Julio underneath the Lennox Lewis-Mike Tyson clash at the Pyramid Arena in Memphis.
Although he had been with Pacquiao even before Pacquiao staged his rousing US debut in June 2001, Fernandez only got the opportunity to go to the US after the late promoter Rod Nazario facilitated his travel documents.
Fernandez was not around when Pacquiao bludgeoned Lehlo Ledwaba and drew with Agapito Sanchez but made his American debut during the Julio fight.
Meanwhile, Pacqiuao had to skip training Friday (Saturday in Manila) because he had to fulfill several medical requirements in relation to the fight.
"It's the usual medical examinations that he takes," said Koncz, who joined Pacquiao to a medical facility in the neighboring city of San Pedro.
The one-day break could might even be good for Pacquiao since he had gone 10 rounds in sparring on Thursday.
"Everything's just great about his training," said Koncz.
Reposted From Manila Bulletin