by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Following another torrid sparring session in which he went a total of nine rounds, Fighter of the Decade Manny Pacquiao dropped a second sparring partner at the Wild Card Gym on Tuesday and showed he is at his best in preparation for his fourth fight against Juan Manuel Marquez at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on December 8.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum who watched Pacquiao work out told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard “it was the best that I’ve seen.”
Arum told us Pacquiao “knocked one of his sparring partners down, he was very aggressive and quick and he looked tremendous.”
However, the astute Top Rank promoter said Marquez was also looking ferocious in his training camp under Hall-of-Fame trainer Ignacio “Nacho” Beristain.
Dyan Castillejo of ABS-CBN who covered the training session said Pacquiao sparred three rounds a piece with Frankie Gomez and the twins Jose and Jessie Roman - knocking down Jessie in the process.
Following the sparring Pacquiao did the punch-mitts with Filipino trainer Buboy Fernandez who makes Pacquiao use his hand-speed and throw a flurry of punches while moving rapidly.
Celebrated trainer Freddie Roach said he is very pleased with Pacquiao’s condition and wants him to keep fighting every minute of every round and put Marquez under pressure from the opening bell.
On the other hand Roach is suspicious about the bulked up and muscular Marquez and his doubts are based on the fact that his strength and conditioning coach is Angel “Memo” Hernandez who once admitted prviding performance enhancing drugs to Olympic sprinters Marion Jones and Tim Montgomery.
Heredia began working with Marquez before his third fight against Pacquao and although the Mexican moved up to weight divisions he was able to wisthstand Pacquiao’s best shots and often engaged the Filipino in furious exchanges.
USA Today quoted Roach who said “If (his body) is natural , I will kiss his ass. Marquez has gotten bigger and gained weight and that throws up a red flag.”
Roach said he wants both Pacquiao and Marquez to undergo random drug testing and claimed Pacquiao told him he has no problem with doing that.
However, Arum said its not that easy to get such drug tests done even as he said neither camp had requested him to get the fighters to undergo random drug tests.
Pacquiao’s strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza, who is a friend of Heredia, thinks highly of the coach. He told us that “when you get someone who knows the science of exercise and nutrition this is the result.”
Ariza said he has no suspicions about Heredia and said that in their third fight Marquex looked different and it wasn’t because trainer “Nacho” Beristain did anything news but Heredia did things to Marquez’s body, taken a good fighter at the age of 39 and completely evolved him.
Prior to their third clash Heredia told examiner.com correspondent Igor Frank that he had trained Marquez differently pointing out that “in the past we never did all the stuff we did like biometric jumps, exercise his hips and mobility and all kinds of different drills. We did not focus on long distance running. We did running but different methods. You can be big but also fast as long as you get good muscular support.”