Friday, October 7, 2011
Pacquiao left Baguio city his favorite training ground in the Philippines for the final tuning and intense training in the famous Wild Card gym in Los Angeles.
Before he departs Pacquiao spar with former champion Jorge Linares, according to the insider the sparring session is really a war. Pacquiao is known to give his sparring partner free shots and he allowed Linares to hit him while orchestrating his fast footwork and jabs.
Though Pacquiao is happy in his Baguio camp, he did not reach the form he wants to be to be able to win against his fiercest rival Juan Manuel Marquez. Expect Team Pacquiao to speed up Pacquiao’s fighting form in Hollywood.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
According to the strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza, there is no change of strategy for Pacquiao against his fiercest rival Juan Manuel Marquez. Team Pacquiao still investing on speed and quickness on their training regimen in Baguio city. Ariza said that it will carry Pacquiao to victory that he been using to destroy his opponents.
Though Marquez is the smarter fighter, he believed during fight time Pacquiao will overwhelm with blinding speed from weird angles. And would love to Pacquiao to make a statement by stopping Marquez this time.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Manny Pacquiao has been called many names. Pound-for-pound King. 8-Division Champion. Fighter of the Decade. Cherry-picker? Not really fitting for someone considered by most to be the best fighter of today. But nonetheless, the name has cropped up more than once, especially with his recent choices of aging opponents in Shane Mosley and Juan Manuel Marquez.
But what is a cherry-picker? Urban Dictionary defines it well: A cherry-picker is one who chooses easy tasks over challenging ones.
So is Pacquiao a cherry-picker? Before we start our analysis, a principle we have to consider is that we have to judge the validity of Manny’s adversaries based on the circumstances before the contract was signed, and NOT on the lopsided outcome. With this in mind, let us begin our analysis to the period when Pacquiao finally became the Pound-for-Pound king. This title was given to him after winning his Lightweight championship match against David Diaz in July, 2008. Why start at this point? It’s because this was the time when he was already expected to take on the best opposition without excuse. His stature demanded it.
For his first two fights as Pound-for-pound best, no one questioned his choice of opponents. Pacquiao had to go up two divisions to fight former champion Oscar De La Hoya who was actually the favorite coming in while everyone wanted to see him face Ricky Hatton, not just because the fight was expected to be ultra-exciting, but also because Hatton was the lineal champion at 140 pounds.
But in 2009, a few questioned the choice of Miguel Cotto as Manny’s next opponent. Some would accuse Pacquiao of ducking Shane Mosley who was the number one welterweight at the time. The contention here, however, is that Cotto beat Shane in their own match. Miguel is also younger, in his prime and has a better record. Although he was beaten by Margarito who was later trounced by Mosley, on paper, both were more or less the same caliber. In the end, the deciding factor on why Cotto was chosen was that Miguel is promoted by Top Rank like Manny and more importantly, he draws more viewers in his fights. The bottom line is: Cotto was not a step-down in level when compared to Mosley. Pacquiao’s choice is justified.
It has to be noted that at this point onwards, Floyd Mayweather is undeniably the best opponent for Pacquiao. But we all know this story. We know the arguments. What I can only say about this in relation to our topic is that Manny has expressed his desire to fight Floyd and the majority believe Mayweather is the one cherry-picking. ‘Nuff said.
With Floyd out of the equation, Pacquiao was left hanging in the early part of 2010. He would eventually choose Joshua Clottey who was ranked fifth. While being number five doesn’t look too impressive, he was actually the best AVAILABLE welterweight at that time. Mosley (# 1) was scheduled to fight Andre Berto (#4) when Manny (#3) was shopping for a challenger. Floyd was #2, so the next best option was Clottey. In truth, it wasn’t such a bad match-up when it was signed. It just felt that way after losing the prospect of a super-fight with Floyd.
Next up was the come-backing Antonio Margarito. He’s freakishly huge, a former champion, and a man hungry for redemption. Compared to all the welterweights and below, Margarito was the most dangerous fight for Manny. The only asterisk in this fight was that it was for a Light Middleweight crown which admittedly, neither Margarito nor Pacquiao deserved a shot at. Still, no one in his right mind would consider this a cherry-pick. Margarito used to be the most avoided fighter in the division. I think he still would be if he fought at welterweight. By the way, did I mention he’s freakishly huge?
With Mayweather still on vacation, Pacquiao was left with 3 opponents to choose from for his first fight in 2011: Shane Mosley, Juan Manuel Marquez and Andre Berto. Among the three, Marquez was perceived by the majority as the most deserving. But in the end, the Pacquiao sweepstakes went to Mosley. The problem with this scenario is that at this point in his career, nobody was considered a major threat to Pacquiao except Floyd. Manny would have been criticized whoever he chose. Besides, the argument then was that, even at his age, Shane could easily beat Marquez while Berto was still unproven, not to mention a virtual unknown to the general public. All three had pros and cons but all of them would have been huge underdogs. So choosing Shane over Marquez and Berto wasn’t as big a deal and it definitely couldn’t be called cherry-picking.
Lastly, Pacquiao would choose Juan Manuel Marquez for his coming fight this November. Some say that it should have been then-WBC welterweight champion, Victor Ortiz but it would again boil down to the same argument as Manny’s previous options. Ortiz was unproven and Marquez was, as I mentioned, the one people wanted before the Mosley fight. Plus, there is a historical significance to this third match after having the first two ending in controversy. So this time, Manny gave in to the fans. It’s just a wonder how people can still insert Victor’s name after clamoring for Marquez just a few months earlier. So despite Marquez’s advanced age, Pacquiao’s choice is legitimate.
While I agree that Manny’s recent opponents have not exactly been stellar, it is only because the best and logical adversary is still putting roadblocks to the fight. In summary, I believe that the Pacman has still taken on the best AVAILABLE challenge since his rise to super-stardom. So no, Manny Pacquiao is NOT a cherry-picker. That title is reserved for someone else.
MANILA, Philippines - Mexican boxing legend Juan Manuel Marquez has acknowledged the rivalry between him and Filipino ring icon Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao but said he holds no animosity or hatred towards the current pound-for-pound king.
"After 2 hard fights, there is a rivalry," Marquez told Examiner.com. "But any talk of hate between me and Pacquiao is ridiculous. We are not friends, we are just rivals."
Pacquiao and Marquez are fighting for the 3rd time on November 12 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Their 2 previous fights both ended in controversy: their first bout in 2004 ended in a draw, while their 2008 rematch was a split decision victory for Pacquiao.
Pacquiao knocked down Marquez 3 times in the first round of their 2004 bout, and again in the 3rd round of their 2008 rematch.
But Marquez rallied both times and the fights went the distance.
Despite the close nature of both bouts, Marquez maintained that he and Pacquiao are just rivals and that there is no bad blood between them.
Marquez and Pacquiao, however, have vowed that all questions will be answered on November 12.
Pacquiao and his trainer, Freddie Roach, are both aiming for a decisive victory this time around, while Marquez is also promising to knock out the Filipino champion.
BAGUIO CITY—There’s no doubt in conditioning expert Alex Ariza’s mind that Manny Pacquiao is going to knock out Juan Manuel Marquez in the early part of their third showdown on November 12 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Having supervised the pound-for-pound king’s strength and training exercises, Ariza has seen Pacquiao’s development as a stronger, well-rounded fighter.
Ariza now believes Pacquiao will finally be able to finish off Marquez this time. And it will come before the first half of the 12-round fight for Pacquiao’s World Boxing Organization welterweight crown is over.
“It (knockout) will be earlier than you would think,” Ariza said during Pacquiao’s Monday morning exercises at Teachers’ Camp track oval here.
“[Pacquiao] is more complete now. He has much more speed, power and explosiveness.”
Though Marquez has also evolved into a smarter and more cautious fighter, Ariza thinks it won’t be enough to sway the balance in his favor.
“At the end of the day, that (smartness and cautiousness) will not win you the fight,” he said.
Ariza wasn’t in Pacquiao’s corner when he eked out a split decision over Marquez in their rematch on March 3, 2008.
The Colombian came aboard Team Pacquiao before the Filipino superstar’s demolition of David Diaz in 2009 and has been an integral part of the team since then.
Friday, September 23, 2011
Manny Pacquiao’s rapid rise to form is catching his training team off-guard.
Barely three days into his Baguio training camp, the pound-for-pound king surprised chief trainer Freddie Roach when he asked for a sparring session with Jorge Linares, the former WBC featherweight and WBA super featherweight champion yesterday afternoon at the Cooyeesan Hotel’s Shape Up Gym.
And, as usual, Pacquiao did not disappoint.
The eight-division champion, honing up for his against Juan Manuel Marquez third showdown on Nov. 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, showed enough speed, skill and power to convince Linares, who’ll be battling Antonio Demraco for the vacant WBC lightweight title on Oct. 15, that he’s going to finish off the Mexican great this time.
“Maybe in four or up to five rounds,” the 26-year-old pride of Venezuela, who totes an impressive 31-win, 1-loss record spiked by 20 knockouts, told TV5.
That’s a huge compliment considering that Pacquiao is only about 80 percent into tip-top shape, according to Filipino trainer Buboy Fernandez.
“He (Pacquiao) is on fire,” said Fernandez in Filipino. “Never in our previous camps has he improved so fast.
“And the results are good, so we’re giving in to what he wants.”
The four-round sparring session was not calendared, with Pacquiao supposed to do gym work and mitts only.
Early in the morning, Pacquiao jogged and ran in the flatlands with noted marathoner Brian Livingstone, from Los Angeles, near the Teacher’s Camp.
Originally set for 3.8 kilometers, the road work extended to 6.8 km with Pacquiao yearning for more.
Though he admitted having difficulty on his high-altitude uphill run on Wednesday, Pacquiao said it will only take two more days for him to be back in his element.
Fernandez, who did the mitts with his boyhood buddy when Roach was still in the United States, agreed.
“He’s gaining ground fast and I can already feel his power. My hands ached whenever he unleashes those shots.”
The undercard for pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao's third fight against Juan Manuel Marquez on Nov. 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas is coming together with two of the bouts on the HBO PPV telecast being set, Top Rank's Bob Arum told ESPN.com on Thursday.
One of the bouts will have junior welterweight contender Mike Alvarado (31-0, 22 KOs) of Denver facing Colombia's Breidis Prescott (24-3, 19 KOs).
"That's a pretty good fight isn't it? I think so. It's a good test for Alvarado and a good fight," Arum said.
Alvarado will be facing the most notable opponent of his career in Prescott who is best known for his first-round knockout in 2008 against then-lightweight Amir Khan, who went on to win a pair of junior welterweight titles.
Prescott took him out in 54 seconds. But Prescott is coming off a closely contested decision loss to Paul McCloskey in McCloskey's native Northern Ireland on Sept. 10 -- a result that could have gone either way.
"Top Rank made the offer and we've accepted it. I'm waiting for the contract," Leon Margules, Prescott's promoter, told ESPN.com. "Breidis comes back from Colombia on Monday to start training in Miami. We like the fight. Alvarado comes to you, Prescott comes to you, so style-wise it's a good fight, and both guys can bang. We like our chances. The only guys Breidis has had problems with are guys who have moved on him."
In a fight that will open the PPV broadcast, Arum said that Puerto Rican junior lightweight Luis Cruz (19-0, 15 KOs), who recently signed with Top Rank as his co-promoter, will face Juan Carlos Burgos (27-1, 19 KOs), a former featherweight title challenger who is moving up in weight.
Cruz is coming off a dominant sixth-round knockout of Antonio Diaz on the Sept. 10 Yuriorkis Gamboa-Daniel Ponce De Leon undercard in Atlantic City, N.J.
Burgos has won two fights in a row since his losing a competitive decision to Hozumi Hasegawa for a vacant featherweight belt last November in Japan.
Top Rank will add one more televised bout.
In the main event, Pacquiao defends his welterweight belt against Marquez, the lightweight champion who is moving up in weight. In two memorable and controversial battles, they have fought to a draw in a 2004 featherweight championship fight and Pacquiao won a split decision in a 2008 junior lightweight title fight.