by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Fighter of the Decade Manny Pacquiao showed he still had the fire to fight when he sparred eight rounds at the Wild Card Gym of Freddie Roach without a break in-between.
Strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza was elated over Pacquiao’s performance and told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard he was “very impressive. It went really good.”
He said Pacquiao looked “very sharp with a lot of good movements, he didn’t take any break, throwing punches, lots of volume punches and pretty sharp.”
Ariza indicated Pacquiao was “sticking to his game-plan. He looked good, he looked strong, he looked focused” but the strength and conditioning coach added a word of caution pointing out that “this is only the second week although as of right now he looks very good.”
Ariza who teamed up with trainer Freddie Roach some two weeks before Pacquiao hammered David Diaz to win the WBC lightweight title with a 9th round TKO said “he plans to continue along this path and decided to do some things like working on the track, doing his isometric exercises, work on his physical.”
He said that should Pacquiao “sticks to the little things that he plans on doing in the next couple of weeks we should see some big, big changes.”
Ariza said he sparred two rounds with longtime sparring partner Raymund Beltran and “a couple of Russian young guys” whose names he couldn’t recall.
Mexican legend Marco Antonio Barrera showed up at the gym and completed what Ariza said was “a good day.”
Ariza told us “its been a while since I’ve seen Manny like that. I looked at his physical body, the way he’s holding his weight and he looks good physically right now.”
Meantime, Mexican promoter Fernando Beltran told us that based on what he’s seen of both Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez who will clash for the fourth time at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on December 8 “their three previous fights were so controversial but this is going to be the exception. I think someone is getting knocked out, I don’t know who.”
Beltran said both fighters are “training very hard and its going to be a great fight and the only winner will be the public.”