Professional Sports

CHAMPIONSHIP COUNTDOWN: Pacquiao, Mayweather begin preparations

HOLLYWOOD — Manny Pacquiao held his first sparring session March 17 at the Wild Card Boxing Club here as he began preparations for his May 2 fight against Floyd Mayweather at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao sparred with Edis Tatli of Finland and Kenneth Sims Jr. of Chicago for five rounds.

“After 13 days of strength and conditioning and boxing drills at Wild Card plus weeks more of working out in the Philippines in February, it was great to finally put on the headgear and spar,” Pacquiao told ESPN.

“Manny looked fresh today,” his trainer Freddie Roach told ESPN. “I’m very happy with what he showed me. You couldn’t tell he had been away from the ring since … November.”

In the Mayweather camp, TMZ reported that the champion was paying a Las Vegas chef $1,000 a meal to monitor his diet leading up to the fight.

At four meals a day, Mayweather could spend an estimated $184,000 leading up to the fight.

Chef Q told TMZ she is on call 24/7 to cook for Mayweather and that his diet consists of “high-levels of protein with no carbs — turkey, chicken, beef and fish.”

She said he is eating meals prepared with fresh ingredients only and has been on a juice kick.