By Chris Robinson
On Wednesday afternoon I caught up with Top Rank promoter Bob Arum in hopes of getting some updates on his stable of fighters.
On December 8th, eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao is once again scheduled to set foot inside of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada as he faces rival Juan Manuel Marquez for a fourth time.
With Pacquiao training out of the Wild Card Boxing Club for the duration of his camp, I asked Arum when he planned on swinging by the gym to check out the progress of his charge.
“I am in Los Angeles,” Arum would advise. “I saw him yesterday.”
And while Pacquiao appears to be motivated heading into the Marquez duel, a mindset some feared he might not have ahead of the fight, Arum pointed out that the Filipino icon was far from sharp in the early stages of camp.
“He’s in great spirits, his conditioning is good, but he showed a great deal of rust in his first sparring session,” Arum revealed. “Not slow, just rusty.”
Having monitored his fighter’s training sessions for the past eleven-plus years, trainer Freddie Roach advised Arum that this is the norm for Pacquiao.
“Freddie says that happens all the time with him, when he first starts sparring,” Arum stated. “I’m going to go tomorrow and see him spar tomorrow as well.”
Arum added that Pacquiao’s sparring mates consisted of longtime partner Ray Beltran and a Russian amateur whose name escaped him.
“They say he’s still an amateur but he looked very, very good,” Arum said of the prospect. “He’s a strong guy and very aggressive.”
Expect more news on Pacquiao’s camp and an updates from Arum on several other fighters in the Top Rank fold in the coming days…