MANNY Pacquiao, the reigning world pound-for-pound king, looks like he didn’t take his time out after his 12th-round victory over World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Miguel Cotto at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas last November.
That’s the assessment of conditioning expert Alex Ariza after Pacquiao had two days of workouts at trainer Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym.
Ariza said Pacquiao did several rounds on the punch-mitts and his usual routine, but would start his strength and conditioning exercises today.
He said Pacquiao planned to begin sparring on Thursday. “He is looking sharp already,” said Ariza of Pacquiao, who will defend his WBO crown against Joshua Clottey at the $1.2-billion Dallas Cowboys stadium on March 13.
Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz told Standard Today that Pacquiao’s training went very well. “Training is going good and Manny is feeling good.”
Broadcaster Hermie Rivera, who lives in California and is known for steering Luisito Espinosa to the world bantamweight title and Morris East to the light welterweight crown, quoted Roach as telling him: “Pretty good on the first day. No problem at all. He was punching hard. He’s weighing 149 pounds right now. Perfect for the agreed upon welterweight limit.
Asked about what they could expect from Clottey, Roach said: “He’ll be aggressive. He’ll try to kill us. He comes forward, he’s strong and he fights. That’s what he does. It’s not a problem. I’m reviewing tapes on how Clottey handles lefties. If a knockout comes, that would be our bonus, but I’ll be getting ready for 12 hard rounds.”
The promotional kickoff rites at the venue owned by Jerry Jones followed by a stop at Madison Square Garden, spiced up with the attractive Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders, had an early impact on ticket sales. Ronnie Nathanielsz