Boxer Manny Pacquiao had a very special visitor check out a training session in Los Angeles on Thursday (13Mar14) - folk rock legend Bob Dylan. The fighter was preparing for his upcoming rematch with welterweight champion Timothy Bradley at coach Freddie Roach's Wild Card Boxing Club when the Lay Lady Lay singer, a longtime boxing fan, phoned and asked if he could stop by with a friend.
Pacquiao's spokesman Fred Sternburg tells RollingStone.com, "I've never seen the place take an aura like this, and I've been going to that gym for nearly a decade. We were all awestruck.
"Manny sparred eight different rounds with two different fighters while Dylan was there. He stayed for an hour and sat on a bench that you'd use to lift weights. Before and after the sparring, Dylan posed for photographs with anyone that asked and signed autographs... He accommodated everybody and smiled the whole time. But, my God, it was Bob Dylan! It was like seeing one of the apostles."
Even Pacquiao got in on the action, tweeting a photo of himself with the singer/songwriter.
He wrote, "After BOB DYLAN watched me train today, Freddie Roach said, 'I think a hard rain's a-gonna fall on Timothy Bradley'," referring to one of the singer's classics.
Pacquiao will be hoping the visit from Dylan will bring him luck when he steps into the ring with Bradley in Las Vegas on 12 April (14).
Boxing is the best sport. It sheds everything unnecessary about athleticism like points, uniforms and the need to put a ball through a designated hoop and boils it down to the basics: two dudes beating the shit out of each other. Elegant, no?
Anyway, the guy that somehow made mid-west hometown football absolutely riveting in Friday Night Lights, Peter Berg, is bringing a documentary show (I shall not deem it low enough for “reality” television) about famed boxing trainer Freddie Roach and his famed establishment Wildcard Boxing Club in Hollywood. It’ll chronicle the usual stuff like training young kids and all the celebrities that stop by, but it’ll get really grounded as Roach battles Parkinson’s. On Freddie Roach will be shot in a cinema-verite style which should give it a real fresh feel and differentiate it from other “reality” shows. Even though I probably wouldn’t watch a sports documentary, the fact that it’s Berg and HBO? That’s enough to at least warrant a check out.
The True Lies star thought it would be fun to step into the gym, shed a few pounds and toughen up - but he admits he wasn't looking forward to getting into the ring with his spiritual adviser for the charity scuffle, dubbed the Rumble in the Temple.
He says, "It's a lose lose... You either lose to your rabbi or you beat up your rabbi."
The Jewish punch-up raised cash for a rehab centre, and Arnold was surprised so many people wanted to see someone smack him in the face.
Arnold was trained by best pal Dax Shepard for the fight, while his rabbi asked top boxing guru Freddie Roach to help him prepare for the clash - and that scared the star into training hard.
The actor adds, "I thought maybe he gave the rabbi some kind of secret thing and they were going to lay it on me, so I didn't want to take any chances."