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Manny Pacquiao enlists low level UFC veteran as sparring partner for Floyd Mayweather fight

A former UFC fighter and current pro boxer is being used as a sparring partner for Manny Pacquiao as he readies himself for his big May 2nd showdown with Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

We're less than a month away from the boxing megafight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. in Las Vegas, with both men fully engrossed in training for the biggest and richest showdown in the sport today. Among the list of Pacquiao's sparring partners are a pair of undefeated prospects, and an ex-UFC fighter whose name should be familiar to readers of this site.

Dashon Johnson came into the UFC on the heels of a 9-0 MMA record, which later proved to be about as padded as you could possibly get through Xplode Fight Series. After a predictable 0-2 stint in the Octagon, which also included improperly accepting a boxing match, he was released.

However unsuccessful Johnson's UFC career proved to be, he's a far more seasoned "journeyman" type professional boxer. His record is an unimpressive 15-19-3 (5 KOs) but he's gone the distance with the likes of Joshua Clottey, Glen Tapia, and top 10 middleweight Jemell Charlo. After calling up Pacquiao's trainer, Freddie Roach, he found himself as part of Pacquiao's team for the Mayweather bout. "Fly Boy" had plenty to say about Pacquiao's work ethic in the gym (via Ring Magazine):

"Pacquiao's work ethic isn't like anything I've ever seen," Johnson says. "He's such a hard worker and has a solid group of guys around him always pushing him to the limit and giving him positive encouragement. He's one of the hardest workers I've ever seen and I've been around and trained with a lot of world champions."

"My style isn't necessarily Mayweather's in real life, but I can definitely emulate his style very well and not to mention I'm the exact same size as Mayweather as far as reach and height and size."

Johnson also says he doesn't expect the fight to go the distance, which obviously indicated he thinks Pacquiao will end Mayweather's undefeated run with a KO. It's no doubt a great opportunity for someone like Johnson to help one of the legends of the sport train for the fight of the century.

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