by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza says pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao is very enthusiastic about training for the showdown with undefeated light welterweight champion Timothy Bradley at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on June 9.
Ariza said he believes Pacquiao will be pushed in training since former WBA light welterweight champion Amir Khan who is arriving with him on Saturday will train alongside Pacquiao although they will not spar with each other.
Ariza told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard that he had spoken to Pacquiao last week and was told that Pacquiao “wants to start training on March 26th and to bring all the equipment, vitamins and proteins because he wants to get started.”
Pacquiao will begin training in Manila before going up to his regular training camp in Baguio City after some time.
Ariza said the impression he gets about the Bradley fight is that “Manny is still very enthusiastic. He wants to start training, he wants to go back to the plyometrics and strength conditioning which he told me after his last fight (against Juan Manuel Marquez) and he told me that when he was here in Los Angeles for the (Bradley) press conference. He is still telling me the same thing so I think he’s got it in his head this is the way he wants to train for this fight.”
Ariza said “I'm hoping that he listens to me a little bit more and follows my program more and definitely I’ll be more pleased. He is asking to go back to the hard work, lifting the weights and stuff for his body. Those are the kind of things that make me really excited.”
The strength and conditioning coach said the new-found religiosity of Pacquiao and his discarding late nights, gambling and other vices “is always a big deal. He probably will have more energy and have more time to recover from the harder workouts that I give him.”
Ariza expressed the hope that Pacquiao “will go back to how he trained when he fought Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto. We didn’t have any problems then. If we get back to that program we are not going to have problems any more. ”
Told about Pacquiao’s regular reading of the Bible and his Bible study sessions Ariza replied, “I will go to every church and every Bible study he wants me to do as long as he does what I ask him to do, training-wise.”