By Dar Mead
If the rumors are true that Filipino boxing star Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao let go of his longtime conditioning coach Alex Ariza on the advice of Freddie Roach, I have to say that move will cost Manny big time in his fight against Shane Mosley.
According to reports from Philippine media, Freddie Roach said that Manny can train himself to get physically fit for a fight and doesn’t need Ariza. Ariza brings a vital key to team Pacquiao and that is the nutritional and recovery aspect of training. Since Manny has been with Alex Ariza his speed, power, and stamina have increased. Ariza handles all the vitamins and supplements to help Manny recover and bulk up while keeping his muscle and speed. Without Ariza’s guidance, Manny could suffer against Mosley.
It is said that Manny Pacquiao is a man who thrives on distractions but he just hasn’t met that guy who will make him pay for taking a training camp lightly.
I feel that Manny needs to train harder than he has ever done before and realize that the body shot by Antonio Margarito hurt, now imagine if Shane Mosley were to land those body shots to his body or uppercuts to his chin? I doubt the outcome would be the same, Manny could actually be stopped against Mosley if that happens.
I worry for the Pacman’s safety in this fight. Shane Mosley is a bigger and hungrier fighter ready to prove people wrong and willing to die in that ring, and let’s not forget, Mosley could be motivated by his need for money after a divorce with his ex-wife Jin Mosley. Mosley is coming to the fight with extra motivation and desire.
What motivates Pacquiao at this moment? Pacquiao has everything, he has the love of his country, he says in countless interviews that he is already happy with what he has accomplished in boxing and doesn’t need to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr..
When you get to a certain level of fame, and have everything it is hard to stay motivated and keep that hunger. Manny seems to be more hungry for politics than he is for boxing. He only does boxing as an obligation and a sign of gratitude to the boxing fans and the people who order his fights. It’s just like a 9 to 5 job for him now and he is just going through the motions.
In his recent fights, I’ve seen the eye of the tiger slowly slip away from Manny Pacquiao. It first began when he fought Miguel Cotto, Manny backed off Cotto during the later rounds and felt pity for him before the ref stopped the fight in the 12th. Next was the Joshua Clottey fight, Manny similar to the Cotto fight didn’t seem to take training seriously and looked slower and lacked the power he showed in his previous fights, and he won a 12 round lackluster decision. And in Manny’s last fight with Antonio Margarito it showed that he didn’t train hard at all. When Manny fought Margarito he weighed in with jeans on, and weighed in the low 140’s against a man who would come into the ring at close to 170 pounds; Manny also looked sloppy in that fight, he was getting hit too much by a guy who was slower than Oscar De La Hoya, and got his ribs bruised from body shots that were landed while he was on the ropes. The worst part of that fight was Manny backed off of Margarito asking the ref to stop the fight, you can’t show mercy on your opponent because that same guy is ready to take your head off the moment you let your guard down.
Before the Margarito training camp Manny was distracted by politics, his conditioning coach Alex Ariza said Manny was only at around 70 percent for that fight, and he wanted Manny to put more size while increasing his speed so he could have enough power to deal with Margarito’s size. Manny said no and decided he wanted to be smaller so he could use his speed, but when they fought Manny didn’t look fast like he did against Oscar De La Hoya, despite coming in lighter, Manny looked slower than before and was getting hit too often by a clearly slower man.
I think Manny needs to keep Alex Ariza and focus on his strength and power, because if trains like he did against Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton he will have the strength to deal with Shane Mosley’s power and size, but if he takes it easy, skips training sessions to focus on politics, his opponent can capitalize on Pacman’s overconfidence and lack of focus.
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