LOS ANGELES – There’s a new rule that fans of Manny Pacquiao – especially those who follow him on his runs through the streets and hills of Los Angeles – will have to follow: no more selfies with the “Pacman.”
Pacquiao’s team has asked that people stop taking pictures with the Filipino icon in an effort to keep him from getting sick or even injured.
Over the years, keeping Pacquiao germ-free has been a top priority. Last year, Pacquiao missed two days of practice as he was preparing for his bout against Timothy Bradley Jr. after catching a cold.
At the time, chief trainer Freddie Roach said: “Manny… has so many people that go to his house (who) want to bother him. I don’t know why these people feel like they need to see Manny or get him sick.”
Despite the selfie ban, fans who waited for Pacquiao outside his car after his morning run were able to receive a few autographs, but were unable to get up close and personal with the champion.
A few fans left empty handed.
While the team takes measures against sickness, they are also trying to prevent over training. Roach gave Pacquiao a rest day on Tuesday’s sparring session.
“He wants to make sure he doesn’t get overtired,” explained Fred Sternburg, Pacquiao’s publicist. “Doesn’t want him to peak too soon.”
“I think they are shocked at how far ahead he is in terms of conditioning, and I think it’s a concern now that he overtrains,” he added.
Pacquiao is now entering his sixth week of training, and fight night is less than four weeks away.