Arum: The best thing that happened to Pacquiao
MACAU—Bob Arum yesterday beat his breast and claimed it was Manny Pacquiao at his greatest, although there were experts and plain fans who readily refuted the premier promoter.
There was particular mention about Pacquiao’s failure to at least deck Rios.
“It’s not the same old explosive Pacquiao, something was missing,” HBO’s Jim Lampley told Filipino boxing specialist Hermie Rivera on their way out of the Cotai Arena.
Lampley said the old Pacquiao would’ve gone rat-tat-tat with a six-punch combo, en route to a stoppage.
“He’s more technical and quicker, but he was obviously taking care not to run into a lucky KO punch,” Lampley said.
For his part, fight great Roy Jones Jr., who worked the fight with Lampley and Max Kellerman, said it was the best Pacquiao he has seen, sharp, in full control, brilliant.
Best or not the best, Arum however butted in with a knockout of a revelation about the best thing that happened to Pacquiao.
“You know the best thing that ever happened to Manny?” Arum whispered to this reporter as we took the elevator to the main arena exit.
“Alex Ariza,” Arum quipped smiling. “The best thing that ever happened to Manny was the dumping of Ariza.”
Out in the presscon hall later, Freddie Roach was asked if the junking of Ariza, who had insulted the famous Pacquiao trainer with a kick to the chest last Wednesday, was the reason Pacquiao no longer suffered cramps. Roach stalled.
“Not necessary,” he said.
Arum did not have to say it, but he was more than certain Pacquiao would’ve not performed as splendidly if the Filipino boxing superhero had been left at the mercy of Ariza, a self-styled conditioning coach.
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