The dynamic duo is back at it again.
Freddie Roach has never really gotten his due credit for ensuring that Manny Pacquiao’s career stayed on course. Sure, folks mention the famed trainer in passing while marveling over his star fighter, but not nearly as much as they should.
Without a doubt, Roach is one of the all-time greats at what he does, though. Sans him, Pacquiao would have never made the necessary adjustments after his second bout versus Juan Manuel Marquez -- that elongated his career and made him arguably the best pound-for-pounder in the sport today -- without his trainer’s guidance.
Recently, Pacquiao and Roach reunited in Manila to train for their third and final bout against Marquez, with whom the pair has quite the storied history. By now, after all of these years, you would expect for their sessions to be more or less be fairly standard. That, each one would know what to expect from the other leading up to any given fight.
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According to Digital Journal, though, Pacquiao still has it in him to surprise his trainer.
“I didn’t expect him to be in this condition. I thought that like in our previous camp here, we will be starting again from the scratch,” Arum said. “Well, I was told that he begun working out two weeks before our original plan. And I think that was good.”
Pacquiao, obviously is taking the coming bout seriously, even if nobody really considers Marquez to be a legitimate threat to his crown anymore. While awaiting Roach, the Filipino champion trained with his conditioning coach Alex Ariza -- who had his own choice words about Marquez -- and assistant trainers Buboy Fernandez and Nonoy Neri.
All signs point to Pacquiao being on track to put the exclamation mark on his feud versus Marquez once and for all on November 12.
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This so-called rivalry between Pacquiao and Marquez stretches back many years and veiled insults. The first time they clashed, the pair ended up fighting to a highly controversial draw which, in all fairness, Pacquiao should have won. The second time around, Pacquiao won – however many pundits maintain that Marquez deserved the victory.
Now, theoretically, they’re going to answer the question of who is better once and for all. Of course, many years have passed since their initial meeting and while Pacquiao has aged well -- thanks to Roach’s guidance -- Marquez’s decline has followed a fairly standard course.
Nevertheless, Pacquiao obviously isn’t willing to take any short cuts this time around, even if his victory is all but guaranteed at this point. Not even the murmurs of a potential mega fight between him and Sergio Martinez appear to be throwing him off his game.
It’s been suggested in the past that the only way Marquez would have even a slight chance of upsetting his opponent in November is if Pacquiao was distracted.
So much for that faint hope.