By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 KO’s) sparred eight rounds on Tuesday with three separate sparring partners and according to his strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza, looked great.
Ariza handles Pacquiao’s workouts at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles while trainer Freddie Roach is in England with WBA light welterweight champion Amir Khan who defends his title against undefeated European champion Paul McCloskey at the M.E.N arena in England on April 16.
Ariza told the Inquirer Pacquiao “is doing really, really well.’ He said Pacquiao sparred three rounds with welterweight Karim “ Hard Hitta”Mayfield (13-0-1, 8 KO’s), three rounds with another wqelterweightr prospect Shawn “ Showtime” Porter (18-0, 13 KO’s) and two rounds with longtime sparring partner, lightweight Raymund “Sugar” Beltran 24-4, 16 KO’s).
The strength and conditioning coach flatly denied an earlier report on the internet that Pacquiao had knocked out Porter stating “that’s not true. I don’t know where anybody got any of that but I can tell you that’s not true.”
He said Porter is “a great sparring partner and he’s still there.”
Ariza said Pacquiao is “in really good shape and I am impressed with his focus, his determination . He is really, really preparing himself for this fight (against Shane Mosley) and taking it seriously. I really like what I see.”
The strength and conditioning guru said Pacquiao is “big and strong. We’ve been doing more strength work, plyometrics (a type of exercise training designed to produce fast, powerful movements) and isometrics this week and in the next two weeks we will see a big and strong Manny.”
Meantime, three-time world champion Shane Mosley (46-6-1, 39 KO’s) put on a show at a jampacked media day workout at his Big Bear training camp in California and predicted he would surprise fight fans by knocking out Pacquiao.
Mosley said “any round would do but I think the seventh will be about the time I break him down and be able to get that knockout.”
He told reporters his energy was at a very high level and he has “a lot of power in both hands. I know Pacquiao will go right to the attack and that is a great advantage for me.”
Mosley conceded that it is a difficult fight because Pacquiao “fires punches from all kinds of angles, is on his toes during late rounds and gives you different looks.” But Mosley expressed confidence that “pure power can take over all of that. I know I will be able to get good hard punches onto Pacquiao.”
Mosley also said having Naazim Richardson as his chief trainer was the biggest advantage “since he’s never lost a fight against a Top Rank champion. ”