by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum wants eight division champion Manny Pacquiao to undergo a complete brain check up following his heartbreaking but brutal sixth round knockout at the hands of Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas last Saturday.
In an overseas telephone conversation with BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard, Arum said he agreed with our suggestion on dzMM Teleradyo for specialists to give Pacquiao a complete brain checkup.
He said “I am a hundred percent in agreement. That’s one thing I am going to suggest. We have the best brain center in the world here in Las Vegas, the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Brain Center and I will suggest that he have a complete evaluation.”
Arum said that with the CT Scan that Pacquiao underwent in Las Vegas “you could see that there is no serious damage but unless you do a complete brain evaluation you cannot estimate whether there is any damage.”
The astute promoter told us he had spoken to Pacquiao while the fighter’s wife Jinkee called Arum’s wife Lovee and “everybody is fine.".
Arum said he told Pacquiao “I don’t want to talk about boxing after he told me he wants to fight again and he wants to do a rematch and I said we are not talking about anything until after the first of the year.”
He said he “told that to Marquez too. He also would like to do a rematch.”
Arum said he totally disagreed with suggestions that should Pacquiao continue to fight he should have an easier opponent, saying “No, no, no. Absolutely not.”
He said “he needs rest, he should get away from boxing for a little bit. There’s no rush for either guy and then we’ll do the rematch in June or September. A fight in-between is not necessary.”
Meantime, Marquez’ strength and conditioning coach Angel Heredia in an exclusive interview with the Standard said that even after the loss Pacquiao was a gentleman and took it well. He said “that’s the part of the charming side of Pacquiao. Everybody knows that he is a tremendous character and is a guy who is on top of the world but a very nice guy and down to earth.”
Heredia said he had worked with Marquez on strength and conditioning some weeks prior to the third fight with Pacquiao which ended in a hugely controversial majority decision for Pacquiao and they suspected Pacquiao was training very hard for the fourth fight so they worked “pretty much on explosiveness, power and endurance as well.”
Heredia indicated that “timing is also very important and the momentum of the fight. You never know when he’s going to throw a combination and in order to react you must train properly.”
He emphasized that “we haven’t done anything (illegal) since we started.” Heredia said “science has given us many clues and tools to be able to do the right thing without going into drugs.”
The strength and conditioning guru of Marquez noted that Marquez was “hitting Manny very hard on the lower part of the body and that was causing Manny problems. He seemed desperate and was jumping around to try and penetrate in the sixth round. I noticed a little bit of fatigue ” even after the fourth round.
Heredia remarked that when Pacquiao and Marquez were shooting pre-fight advertising Pacquiao “looked just terrible and soft. He didn’t have the muscle. But at the weigh-in its an amazing transformation. Why would I say that Pacquiao is not on drugs? Its because I am a scientist for God’s sake and I know what it takes to become a good athlete without breaking the law.”
Heredia’s counterpart in the Pacquiao camp. Alex Ariza told us that Marquez “did a little bit of boxing and focused a lot on his speed and stamina. He worked out for three months but look at his body.”
Ariza said “you cannot argue that science played the biggest factor in the victory of Marquez. That wasn’t old school boxing, that wasn’t Nacho Beristain’s, that was all science. It was his conditioning, his nutrition program, his strength and conditioning. It was all science.”