by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum was obviously pleased after watching Manny Pacquiao’s sparring session at the Wild Card Gym on Tuesday in Los Angeles.
Arum told the BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard that Pacquiao “looked very good today”: compared to the last time Arum was there and Pacquiao appeared to be off in his timing.
But this time it was a different story according to Arum who said “he was quick and much more aggressive and was moving well and throwing more punches.”
In a conference call with US and international media, Pacquiao said “training camp has been going great. I have really been training hard for this fight.
Asked whether he planned on going for a knockout Pacquiao replied “right now my mind is focused on being more aggressive for this fight. If there is a chance in the ring during the fight, why Not make the fight easy (knock him out” if I have the opportunity?”
Trainer Freddie Roach admitted that they have “a tough fight ahead of us. We know that Marquez is a great counter-puncher. We are working on things to defeat that counter-puncher style.”
The celebrated Hall-of-Famer said “Manny is looking great in training. I like what I see. He is where I want him to be right now. His focus is where it has not been for some time. He is very focused for this fight and I think its going to be the best fight yet.”
There have been reports that Marquez under strength and conditioning coach Angel Heredia has introduced some new things in training including swimming, working on the track and plyometrics and has bulked up. However, this doesn’t bother Pacquiao or Roach.
Pacquiao made it clear that the strategy for the fight “is to be more aggressive. Develop strength more and focus on speed” even as he added “I am not worried about his (Marquez) strength.”
Roach downplayed the build up of Marquez, physically. He said “I don’t think it’s a factor. I don’t think muscle-men have a better chin. If anything, I think if you put a lot of muscle he will be a little slower than he used to be and we are going to take advantage of that.”