By Chris LaBate
Alex Ariza, the strength and conditioning coach of WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao, is predicting an early knockout on November 12th, when the Filipino superstar faces Juan Manuel Marquez in a trilogy bout at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Ariza is not paying attention to the outcomes of their first two meetings - a twelve round draw in 2004 and a close split decision win for Pacquiao in 2008. Ariza says Pacquiao is now bigger, faster, more technical, and stronger.
Even Juan Manuel has agreed that Pacquiao is technically a much better fighter at this point in his career.
“The [knockout] will be earlier than you would think. [Pacquiao] is more complete now. He has much more speed, power and explosiveness. At the end of the day, that [smartness and cautiousness] will not win [Marquez] the fight. Marquez is smart. But what matters here is physiology. Marquez is a smaller guy,” Ariza told The Inquirer.