Manny Pacquiao sparring partner Frankie Gomez provides a lift

Boxing champion Manny Pacquiao works out with trainer Freddie Roach at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood earlier this year.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Frankie Gomez is one of Los Angeles’ brightest boxing prospects, a 20-year-old welterweight who’s 13-0 with 10 knockouts.

Now, he’s added to the resume a full training camp of sparring with Manny Pacquiao.

“It’s like a dream come true,” Gomez said. “I’ve always wanted to train with the best. Taking on his speed, his power … he fights with so much experience … he makes you work to a point you’ve never been to.”

With Pacquiao eight days from his fourth bout against rival Juan Manuel Marquez Dec. 8 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, trainer Freddie Roach said Gomez’s performance in the ring has been critical to preparation.


“Frankie has done his job well,” Roach said. “Manny and Frankie are both very competitive in there, and Frankie has proven to be very strong in there.

“I use Frankie for activity. I want Manny to fight full three-minute rounds against Marquez, and Frankie gets in there and forces Manny to do that.”

Roach has taken over as Gomez’s trainer, and will lead the East Los Angeles boxer into a fight Dec. 15 at the Los Angeles Sports Arena, on the undercard of the Amir Khan-Carlos Molina main event.

“I just try to give him the best work I can,” Gomez said. “He obviously has more experience, so I do what I do.

“Put pressure. Give him trouble. I was raised by a left-handed trainer, and I’ve been fighting left-handers all my life, so I think I’m pretty good moving the opposite way you usually do.”

Given the fact that all three prior Pacquiao-Marquez fights have gone the distance, Gomez pronounced Pacquiao up to the challenge of a fourth such occurrence.


“Manny gets you tired, he just keeps on pushing, keeps on coming,” Gomez said. “His power is good, and when he turns it up … he’s caught me good, and hurt me to the body. He’ll be ready.”

“NACHO” EXPLAINS LAST FIGHT: Marquez trainer “Nacho” Beristain said Thursday he stands by his final-round coaching, in which he told Marquez before the 12th, “The fight is won.”

Although Marquez did produce a sharp counter-punching display in the November 2011, bout, Pacquiao’s overall activity won him a majority decision.

If judges Dave Moretti and Robert Hoyle had given Marquez the 12th round like third judge Glenn Trowbridge, the bout would have been scored a draw.

“I told him, ‘Don’t relax, be careful,’ ” Beristain said in a telephone conversation with The Times from Marquez’s gym in Mexico. “I certainly didn’t tell him to back off.

“I felt he fought with the same rhythm as the previous 11 rounds. Seeing how they scored the earlier rounds we thought we had won, it seems the score was predetermined.”


Beristain said he’s hopeful Nevada’s assignment of three judges who’ve never previously scored a Pacquiao-Marquez fight will prove beneficial to his fighter.

“You can’t blame a commission because of three other guys who didn’t know what they were doing last year,” Beristain said. “We have to give these new guys the benefit of the doubt.”


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