By Ronnie Nathanielsz
“Fighter of the Decade” Manny Pacquiao looked great in twelve rounds of sparring at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles on Saturday and strength and conditioning coach said if he stays this way, we’ll have a great show against Juan Manuel Marquez in their fourth showdown at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on December 8.
Ariza told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard that the young, talented fighter who was dropped by Pacquiiao with a stinging left straight last Thursday didn’t show up and another promising young fighter who Ariza didn’t know, took his place.
He said Pacquiao went four rounds with Frankie Gomez, four rounds with the new kid and four rounds with longtime sparring partner Raymund Beltran.
Ariza told us Pacquiao “looks great. He has never looked bad in sparring.”
The strength and conditioning coach who teamed up with trainer Freddie Roach some weeks prior to Pacquiao’s demolition of lightweight champion David Diaz said Pacquiao “looked sharp, looked in great condition and threw a lot of punches.”
However, Ariza said he hopes Pacquiao “can transfer this over to fight night” which is still the big question.
Ariza said the win by Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero in a war with Andre Berto to retain his WBC welterweight interim title may earn Guerrero a possible fight with Pacquiao whom he has called out in the past unless a fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr materializes.
Ariza said that after watching the Guerrero-Berto fight he predicted a Pacquiao clash with 'The Ghost' would be “a good fight but Manny can handle the guy.”