By Ronnie Nathanielsz
FORMER world junior lightweight champion Steve Forbes is impressed with the performance of Fighter of the Decade Manny Pacquiao after he recently sparred four rounds with him at the Wild Card Gym of trainer Freddie Roach.
Top Rank publicist Fred Sternburg, who is always at the Pacquiao workouts, quoted Forbes as saying: “I just can’t believe how fast Manny is and am impressed with the intensity and power he has shown.”
The Pacman, who will have an April 12 rematch with World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Timothy Bradley, sparred 11 rounds last Thursday, 12 rounds on Saturday and eight rounds yesterday.
“Pacquiao looks just like the Manny we all remember from a couple of years ago when he fought (Oscar) De La Hoya, (Ricky) Hatton and (Miguel) Cotto,” Forbes said.
Sternburg, who has been around the fight game for years, added that that Pacquiao was really having fun inside the ring and demonstrated “awesome speed, intensity, timing and power. The real Manny is back.”
Meanwhile, in a positive effort to erase then stigma of the universally criticized decision in the first Pacquiao-Bradley fight in which the American was awarded a split-decision win, Nevada State Athletic Commission chairman Francisco Aguilar responded positively to a request by Top Rank promoter Bob Arum to “eliminate any officials the two camps were wary about,” and name two judges from outside Nevada.
Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz informed the Manila Standard about the officials named shortly after it was announced by the NSAC.
“They are great officials,” said Koncz.
Arum told the Manila Standard that he was “very pleased” over chairman Aguilar’s decision to name veteran Kenny Bayless, regarded by most as the best in the business as the third man in the ring, along with judges Michael Pernick of Florida and John Keane of Britain with only veteran judge Glen Trowbridge from Nevada.