COMMENTARY | It’s a given, whenever Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez meet inside the ring, it usually leads to an entertaining battle.
Many boxing fans expect the fourth encounter between the two — which takes place on Dec. 8, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas — to be no different, but Pacquiao’s strength and conditioning coach, Alex Ariza, has some concerns heading into their upcoming encounter.
Ariza feels Manny isn’t committed to his strength and conditioning training, focusing more on his boxing technique. According to Ariza, the Filipino congressman neglected his conditioning heading into his last few fights, and Alex feels it probably had something to do with Pacquiao’s lackluster performances against Juan Manuel Marquez and Timothy Bradley.
“Well you know, of course I’m gonna say because we’re not focusing on his strength and conditioning program as much as we did in the past,” Ariza said when asked about Pacquiao’s recent struggles during an interview with Marcos Villegas. “When I look at what made us successful in the past, and I’m looking at what’s not making us successful, that’s the only common denominator that’s not involved. So I have to assume that that’s what it is.”
Ariza is a bit frustrated with the fact that others in Pacquiao’s camp don’t seem to think strength and conditioning is just as important heading into a fight, and he hopes their indifference won’t end up biting them in the rear come fight time.
“You know, you can only push your agenda so long, and then you have to support whatever it is that they ultimately come up with to do, to train,” Ariza added.
Pacquiao’s last two camps have had their share of drama, so it isn’t that surprising to find a little tension among his trainers. However, Pacquiao’s decision to neglect his conditioning training might end up being the difference maker against Marquez, who seems to be in the best shape of his entire career heading into their fourth showdown.
David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner that has watched and studied MMA for the past 7 years. Follow him on Twitter @davidkingwriter and check out his blog.
Fight and fighter information from BoxRec.com
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