Over the past year, a lot of people have questioned precisely how motivated Manny Pacquiao has been heading into his fights. His status as one of the all-time greats is beyond reproach, but there is no denying that his performances against Juan Manuel Marquez and Timothy Bradley left something to be desired.
In that latter case, specifically, it was bizarre that the Filipino champ couldn’t take Bradley out. Did he beat him? Sure. Obviously. However, it should never have been left up to those incompetent judges. The fight should have ended in a knockout.
Given what transpired over the last year and change, you began to hear a lot of people whispering about whether Pacquiao still had it. He still had something, clearly, but did he have that it factor that made him the best pound-for-pounder around not too long ago?
Pacquiao heard the whispers. Shortly after he announced that he would be fighting Marquez for a fourth time, the Filipino champ pledged to erase all doubts. He insisted that he would knock his opponent out and, on top of that, cement in people’s minds that he was who they remember him being once upon a time.
According to a recent report by Boxing Scene, Pacquiao is working hard to stay true to his word. They spoke with strength and condition coach Alex Ariza, and here is what was said:
Strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza was elated over Pacquiao’s performance and told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard he was “very impressive. It went really good.”… He said Pacquiao looked “very sharp with a lot of good movements, he didn’t take any break, throwing punches, lots of volume punches and pretty sharp.” … Ariza indicated Pacquiao was “sticking to his game-plan. He looked good, he looked strong, he looked focused” but the strength and conditioning coach added a word of caution pointing out that “this is only the second week although as of right now he looks very good.”
Marquez is bringing his a-game on Dec. 8, and if Pacquiao brings anything less, he may end up being the one on the wrong end of a knockout blow.
(Kudos Boxing Scene)