Last 2 Pacquiao fights fail to impress Ariza
Manny Pacquiao’s strength and conditioning coach said he is far from impressed with the Filipino ring superstar’s two fights last year.
And the last thing Alex Ariza wants is an unprepared Pacquiao battling the unbeaten American Timothy Bradley on June 9 for the Sarangani congressman’s WBO welterweight belt at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“We can’t have a bad camp,” Ariza told boxingscene.com. “(Pacquiao’s) physical conditioning is very important. This must happen all the way.”
Pacquiao will defend his WBO title for the fourth time against the unpredictable Bradley, with the Ring magazine’s pound-for-pound king heavily favored to bag his 55th professional victory in 60 fights.
The eight-division world champion prevailed via ho-hum unanimous decisions over Joshua Clottey in March 2010 and Shane Mosley in May 2011 before besting Juan Manuel Marquez for the second time via an unpopular majority decision six months later.
“He’s (Bradley) a high-volume puncher who’ll come forward,” Ariza said. “Bradley’s not a technical guy like Marquez. He fights somewhat like Manny. That’s why I think it’ll be an explosive fight.”
Ariza said Pacquiao, who has started light training in Manila and General Santos City, runs the risk of losing focus for his clash with Bradley because of his various activities outside the ring.
The Colombian conditioning guru also said starting camp on April 16 in Baguio City could be “a little late” for Pacquiao even though he sees a hungrier, more motivated Pacman this time.
“It’s up to Manny how he’d prepare against Bradley,” Ariza said, adding he knows Pacquiao wants to prove something in his coming fight.
Meanwhile, world junior welterweight contender Ruslan Provodnikov (21-1, 14 KOs) will join Pacquiao’s training camp in Baguio. The Russian is expected to arrive in the country on April 22.
Provodnikov will travel back to Los Angeles with Pacquiao and head trainer Freddie Roach in early May to continue training at the Wild Card Gym.
Despite his apprehensions, Ariza said he is confident the Pacquiao-Bradley bout will be a short one.
“Manny’s competitive spirit will take over,” Ariza said. “How he trains will impact on how he does against Bradley.
“If he trains properly, Manny could blow that guy away in less than five rounds.”
"Visit Inquirer Sports' The Pacquiao Files (www.inquirer.net/pacquiao-files) for news, features, and other multimedia content about Manny Pacquiao and his upcoming fights."
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.