Manny Pacquiao, trying to run to the summer when he was only 25, made an unscheduled pause last week to explain he may no longer have to really go back that far.
The 33-year-old boxing superhero, preparing for his fourth bout against long-time nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez, said he must now pace himself and no longer stays on overdrive.
“How do you feel right now,” a friend from GMA News asked.
“I’m 28,” Pacquiao answered, readily adding he felt perfectly fine.
Pacquiao was 28 when he did the unexpected and stopped the great, heavily favored Oscar De La Hoya in his first bout as a welterweight.
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Of course, Pacquiao would’ve done everything and gone full blast—if his body would still allow it.
All for the simple reason that cutting down on training hours doesn’t rhyme with the new theme of his next bout.
The theme: Non-stop aggression.
“Non-stop action,” Pacquiao told Lance Pugmire of the LA Times. “In and out, side by side, speed, hip movement.”
And more “We have Plan A and Plan B. The ploy is to put full pressure, counter him, move my head, a lot of work.”
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Pacquiao has gotten strict orders to go for a compelling knockout.
He has also attached a new dimension to his mission.
He said he will go out to erase “perceptions Marquez is the smarter fighter.”
“I believe I myself am smarter,” he told Pugmire. “You’re going to see that this time it will be different.”
Pacquiao will also be out to dump the stigma that he’s on a career decline.
“I have to prove they’re wrong. I am still young and strong. I slip a punch and respond with rapid fire assault.”
A smart Pacific Storm, in short.
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Meanwhile, out there in Mexico, trainer Nacho Beristain must be relishing all the latest info from the Wild Card Gym.
All for the simple fact that, based on new declarations, Pacquiao would, at best, be doubly stormy come fight time.
Not to say that Mexicans have nothing to fear this fourth time around.
But Beristain must’ve been doubly convinced there would be no need for significant shifts.
“Pacquiao is like a typhoon but will meet a technical-class fighter in Juan Manuel,” Beristain explained in an earlier interview.
Beristain said they would go for a happy ending, possibly a knockout.
Freddie Roach said he would not be pleased with anything short of a KO.
Still, Roach must make sure that, this time, it would not be a shallow, crouching cougar but a thinking typhoon he would be slamming on the sharp, shifty, sly Mexican Puzzle.
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(INVITATION: The Family and Pastoral Counselors Association of the Philippines hereby extends an invitation to its 4th National Convention on Nov. 15-17. Venue is the Conference Hall of the University of the East, Recto Ave., Manila. Banner theme is Family Counseling: Towards Resiliency, Empowerment and Transformation. Pls. call Tecthie Viduya at 7034593 for inquiries.)