Manny Pacquiao losing to Juan Manuel Marquez earlier this month was not particularly shocking. When you fight the same opponent on four different occasions, him sneaking out a victory is bound to happen. Frankly, it’s surprising that Marquez needed four tries and over eight years to finally get his lone win.
What was stunning about the Marquez victory, however, was precisely how it happened. Nobody would have batted an eye if he earned a unanimous decision win after a hard-fought battle. A brutal one punch knockout that left his foe face first on the canvas, though? That was impossible to predict.
The sheer dominance displayed by Marquez on Dec. 8 left many wondering: what went wrong for Pacquiao. What could he have done to ensure that Marquez couldn’t embarrass him like he ultimately did?
Maybe it was a conditioning problem.
Mind you, Marquez came into his thing in the best shape of his life. Somehow, at age 39, he entered the ring three weeks ago boasting his most cut and muscular body ever – all the while maintaining the speed that has made him such a feared counterpuncher. That combination of power and speed, ultimately, is what gave him the edge over his Filipino counterpart.
If Pacquiao wants to avenge this most recent defeat against Marquez, he too will need to come back in tiptop shape. According to PhilStar.com, the former champ has a standing offer from one of the biggest names in athlete fitness.
“I have some ideas on how I might be able to help Manny,” Tim Grover told The Star the other day. “If Manny wants, I could go through Freddie (Roach) or Alex (Ariza) or both. My intention is not to interfere with any conditioning program Manny is now doing. I’m not looking to displace anyone. I’m not after a ringside seat or a place in Manny’s corner. All I want to do is to enhance Manny’s performance by working within his system.”
Grover has previously worked with other big name athletes like Kobe Bryant.
“I’m putting my reputation on the line,” he said. “I saw how (Juan Manuel) Marquez put on a lot of muscle mass without gaining too much weight. You can do that with a training program. But I guarantee that I can make Manny 10 times better than Marquez in terms of conditioning.”
He has tons of experience when it comes to aging stars.
“I took care of Michael from when he was at his peak until he retired,” Grover said. “Now, I’m taking care of Kobe who’s 34 like Manny. My expertise in kinesiology and physical exercise science gives me the edge to work with athletes at different stages of their career. I know how hard Manny works out in the gym, I’ve seen it on HBO’s 24/7. I believe I can make an impact on his game.”
Grover also weighed in on whether Marquez could have attained his new body naturally.
“It’s possible to do that without resorting to performance-enhancing-drugs,” he said. “All I can say is if Marquez was able to boost his power with training, I can do that 10 times better with Manny. My concept is to fit into whatever program Manny is now doing with Freddie and Alex. I can work with anyone in his team. At his age, Manny can still go far. My ability to work on both the physical and mental aspects will allow me the opportunity to prepare Manny for his next fight feeling confident he’ll have the power and be in the proper frame of mind to win.”
Will Pacquiao take Grover up on his offer? Time will tell. But he definitely needs to do something because his conditioning over the last year and change has been extremely unimpressive.