Manny Pacquiao has always trained hard for his fights. The idea that he hasn’t is ludicrous. You don’t become the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world by not training hard. The reason Manny’s performances have been less-than-stellar as of late isn’t because he isn’t training hard, it’s because as he grows older and older, he needs more training than he did in his younger days. That’s just the way the aging process works.
For the past year, Pacquiao has ignored that biological fact. This time around, though, for his fourth showdown against Juan Manuel Marquez, the Filipino champ pledges not to make that mistake again. During a recent interview with Philboxing, Pacquiao acknowledged that he would be putting extra effort into his training on this go-round.
"Yes, I will be focusing more on training for this fight even to the extent of killing myself at the training camp," he said.
"Not that I have not been working hard in training in my latest fights. I did, in fact. But this is a different fight, one that will erase the ignominy of me winning two of our first three fights only to return back to our country getting the flak for a less impressive victory.
"I feel I owe it to the boxing fans, especially to our countrymen, to prove that my…wins and draw were no fluke."
This fight should tell us a lot about Pacquiao’s health at this stage of his career. If he is able to hang with Marquez and actually deliver a dominant victory, that will silence a lot of the doubters who think that Father Time has caught up with the champ. If he wins unconvincingly or loses, though, Pacquiao may need to re-examine how much longer he wants to do this. His place in history, after all, is secure. He has money. He has prestige. He has goals outside of the ring.
At this point, boxing needs Pacquiao a heck of a lot more than Pacquiao needs boxing.
The Filipino champ is right to train extra hard for this match. It will ultimately tell him everything he needs to know about what the future holds.