Mark Pacquiao earned his spot at Black House MMA several months ago, and Saturday at SSP Fight Night 45, he gets to put his training to work.
Los Angeles, CA — Amateur bantamweight Mark Pacquiao will have his second official contest Saturday night at SparStar MMA’s SSP Fight Night 45. He returns to the cage against Josh Travaglio, but the Black House MMA athlete has more experience that it seems at first glance.
“I’m just really relaxed. I’ve had a lot of technical bouts, the ones that don’t go on records. They call it smokers,” he said. “I’ve had like three or four of those on top of the other fights I’ve had.”
“It’s going to be a real technical fight, this one,” he promised. “This will be my first fights without shin guards, so I’m really excited about that. My opponent’s a wrestler, I’m not planning on throwing too much kicks.”
Instead, it’s “use my boxing, and sprawl hard. That’s the game plan.”
So how did Pacquiao get into the sport? It started with his name. “Growing up, ever since 2004 when I was in 4th grade, everyone would ask me if I was related to Manny Pacquiao. And then I always grew up watching him, and he just inspired me.” Other athletes did as well. “I grew up watching B.J. Penn, Chuck Liddell, and the UFC. I was like ‘man I want to do that when I get older.'”
So Pacquiao joined the wrestling program at school, and tried out for football as well, “even though I was a super small dude.” After high school, he attended college, but missed the competition. That led him to the Wild Card gym, run by Freddie Roach. Eventually, he found a gym closer to home, where he got into kick boxing.
From there, he tried out for Black House MMA. “They had try-outs at Black House three months ago, four months ago. Out of 25 guys, 7 guys made the cut. Thankfully I made the cut.”
“I’m at the right place, seeing all these guys put in the work,” he said of his new home. “These guys that you looked up to, ever since you were a kid, they’re training side-by-side with you. You see what they do, and you’ve just got to train as hard as they do.”
Saturday night in Commerce, CA under the SparStars MMA banner, “decision, knockout, it’s going to happen either way,” he promised of the win, predicting a second or third round knockout.
Watch the full interview with Mark Pacquiao above!