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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Pacquiao camp off to better start than previous camp

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Mississippi Fight Sports Examiner | Brad Cooney

It wasn't too long ago when we were hearing about how Pacquiao conditioning coach Alex Ariza slapped some manners into adviser Michael Koncz. And it wasn't too long ago when we were watching HBO 24/7 and witnessed Freddie Roach and Koncz showing their dislike for one another. In the previous training camp there were several incidents that took place that created a lot of bad blood within the team.

It appears as if in this camp for Joshua Clottey the storms have subsided. Although it's still early, so far there have been no internal issues, no slapping, no public jabbing at one another, and no major distractions. Recently famed trainer Freddie Roach told this writer that the camp is getting off to a good start, " So far so good. Manny is in pretty good shape right now, we will get sparring started a little earlier this time around because camp is a little bit shorter than normal." Listen to the Podcast with Freddie Roach here -

While conducting my tours of the Jackson, Mississippi sports bar scene, I quickly learned that the boxing fans, more so the Pacquiao fans are very happy that it's been quiet so far. I spoke with several of the fans about Pacquiao's normally distraction filled training camps. Bill Boyd of Jackson, a big Pacquiao fan, is pleased, 'So far it seems like Manny's camp has gotten off to a good start. It is nothing like last time, but it is still early. Anything can still happen, but Manny always seems to cut through the bull and ends up winning anyway."

Recently this writer spoke to former Pacquiao sparring mate Shawn Porter, a Jr Middleweight freight train promoted by Prize Fight Promotions. Porter has fought several times up in Tunica, Mississippi and each time displayed relentless speed and power. Porter witnessed what a Manny Pacquiao training camp is all about first hand, " He is the greatest fighter of all time. I am not surprised what he did to Miguel Cotto at all. He is a blessed athlete and his fans are 100 percent behind him at all times. When I got into the ring with him, I said to myself, ' Oh my God, I am about to do this.' Read more about what Porter had to say here -

Porter was in camp when there were plenty of distractions to go around, but this time around? It's all quiet and that probably does not bode well for Joshua Clottey. Pacquiao has shown that he can handle bigger opponents, and he relies on his speed to do it. Freddie Roach agreed that speed is the key, 'Manny is in pretty good shape, he's 148lbs right now. We will use Manny's speed, that's our advantage. Clottey has size and power and we got speed. We will fight a smart fight, a tactical fight. We know that Clottey is no joke, he's never been knocked out, so we are not looking for a knockout. We are looking for 12 hard rounds, but if the knockout comes, it comes."

So far the camp is smooth sailing. The Wild Card Gym is all systems go, and hopefully the fans will get to see a great fight between Pacquiao and Clottey in March.


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