Manny Pacquiao gives Hall of Famers Charles Barkley, Reggie Miller a taste of fight training

Kevin Iole
Boxing Experts Blog

One thing is certain when Manny Pacquiao is training for a fight: He'll never be lonely.

Pacquiao, who is preparing to face Juan Manuel Marquez on Saturday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for a fourth time, always seems to host a flood of celebrities. He recently gave Basketball Hall of Famers Charles Barkley and Reggie Miller a taste of what it is like to train for a fight.

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Barkley and Miller chronicled their experience working out with Pacquiao at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, Calif., for a half-hour special that will air Thursday on TNT following the network's NBA coverage.

Miller ran with Pacquiao through Griffith Park in Los Angeles. Both men got in the ring with Pacquiao at the Wild Card, while Barkley spent time with trainer Freddie Roach.

I haven't had a chance to get a sneak peak of the footage, but Pacquiao was chuckling as he was watching Miller throw -- or, to be more accurate, try to throw -- a jab.

"As a boxing fan, it was one of the coolest things I've ever done," Barkley said.

Hopefully, Barkley's boxing form is better than his golf swing. Miller, for all his technical faults, said he enjoyed the time with the Pacman.

"As a professional athlete, it's always interesting to hear how other elite athletes prepare themselves for competition," Miller said. "Training with Manny was an experience I'll never forget."

The half-hour show, called "Charles & Reggie: Toe to Toe with Manny Pacquiao" will air after TNT's doubleheader ends Thursday. TNT will show the Miami Heat against the New York Knicks at 8 p.m. ET, with Dallas at Phoenix following at 10:30 p.m. ET.

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