Manny counters, steps on the gas again
It will be different from all the three previous fights, promoter Bob Arum says of the Dec. 8 fourth bout between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez.
Different, Arum explains, because both of them will be “looking for different strategies this time so much so that the winner will be more conclusive.”
Both have vowed to be more aggressive “and each of them will be taking the fight to the other.”
In that case, Arum surmises, “it may be a disadvantage for Juan Manuel whose biggest advantage is counterpunching but who vows to be a lot more aggressive as well.”
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The point is very clear: something’s got to give.
You can’t rock, go bang, bang and stay an impeccable counterpuncher at the same time.
These details were bared during a media conference call involving Arum, Pacquiao and trainer Freddie Roach in California yesterday.
The conference coincided with Marquez’s media day workout scheduled in Mexico City yesterday.
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By the time this column comes out, Team Pacquiao must’ve already confirmed earlier claims that Marquez has undergone an amazing physical buildup.
Last seen inside the gym in Mexico, El Dinamita was described as “a wrecking ball with tons of muscles.”
Of course, it should also be determined during the Marquez workout whether or not the classy Mexican boxing icon has slowed down with (his) fearsome extra poundage.
“I am not worried about strength,” Roach stressed during the conference call. “I don’t think muscle gives you a better chin.”
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Needless to say, Roach is expected to order Pacquiao to push what he expects to be a muscular but slower Marquez to the limit.
You see, it was done very quietly but Pacquiao has been ordered to step on the gas again.
Remember how some two weeks back when Pacquiao confided to a close-in Manila broadcaster he had to give his body some rest while training hard for the Marquez bout?
As noted here earlier, something came in the way as Pacquiao tried to run back to the summer when he was only 24. He suddenly paused and said he may not need to really go back that far.
When buttonholed at the Wild Card Gym on why he had to skip some running routines, Pacquiao said he had found it necessary to give his body time to recover.
“So how do you feel now?” Pacquiao, 31, was asked.
“I’m 28 and I feel perfectly fine,” he beamed.
Pacquiao, by the way, was 28 when he stopped and retired the heavily favored Oscar De La Hoya.
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Now, listen, please.
Suddenly, Pacquiao was again running fast and hard to that summer when he was 24.
“Manny will fight at a faster pace, like he did in the first fight,” Roach assured during yesterday’s conference. “We will not let Marquez dictate the pace.”
Can Manny fight at the same pace as he did in their first fight?
Himself speaking, Pacquiao has vowed all-out aggression, speed, hip movement.
“We have Plan A and Plan B, we plan to pressure and counter him, move my head a lot of work.”
Counter Pacquiao surely will, not realizing he had already scored the biggest counterpunch of the lengthy rivalry by deciding to train like old and get in there as original Pacific Storm again.