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Thursday, February 4, 2010


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By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Fri, 05 Feb 2010

The "Fighter of the Decade" and pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao had another good day working out at the Wild Card Gym of trainer Freddie Roach.

Conditioning expert Alex Ariza said Pacquiao was his usual relentless self in training and went ten rounds on the mitts with hardly a break aside from going through his regular routine as well as his demanding conditioning exercises.

He also found time for a couple of television and print interviews during which he said he felt bad over allegations that he was on performance enhancing drugs. He was quoted as saying "I’m really disappointed because I sacrifice and train hard and focus for what I have achieved in boxing."

Pacquiao told Robert Morales of the the widely read "I think I understand Floyd.. He just can't say, 'Oh, I don't want to fight. I'm not ready for the fight.' He's just making alibis to cancel the fight. He's not ready."

Pacquiao indicated he is not angry with Mayweather but said "I just felt bad that he doesn't want to fight. He's making a lot of allegations and alibis, allegations that can ruin my name."
Pacquiao hinted that if Mayweather is everything he says he is, he wouldn't have come up with his demand for random blood tests in the first place saying "If you are a true champion, no alibis, just fight."

Morales reported "during all this time, the look in Pacquiao's eyes never changed. Sincerity is what they had in them. Either he was being completely forthcoming, or he's one heck of a con man. The latter is difficult to fathom."

Pacquiao said he could take some solace in knowing that he was recently chosen Fighter of the Year and Fighter of the Decade by the Boxing Writers Association of America. "When I heard that, I'm happy because there are a lot of people believing in my capabilities and my achievements in boxing," he said. "For me, it's boxing and God. I think what I have done in boxing is because of my sacrifices and my faith in God."

Ariza said there was nothing much to add except that Pacquiao continues to look "phenomenal" as though he never left off after his 12th round TKO victory over Miguel Cotto last November in which Pacquiao won the WBO welterweight title to set a record of seven world titles in seven weight divisions.

Ariza’s statement reinforced the claim of Pacquiao adviser Michael Koncz who attributed the fighter’s physical condition to the fact that they played a lot of basketball while in the Philippines.

Koncz said Pacquiao was relaxed and looking forward to his March 13 showdown with Ghana’s tough Joshua Clottey at the $1.2 billion Dallas Cowboys Stadium of Jerry Jones.
Ariza meantime downplayed reports that Pacquiao took young and promising super lightweight Jose Benavidez to school in a sparring session last Tuesday. Ariza said Benavidez "did pretty good" even as he pointed out that people should remember the fighter who scored a first round knockout in his pro debut was up against the current pound-for-pound best.

Meantime, Roach is likely to be in the corner of former two-division world champion Gerry Penalosa when he battles another former world two division champion Eric Morel on the exciting "Pinoy Power III/Latin Fury 13" fight card at the Las Vegas Hilton on February 14, Manila Time.

Roach has always maintained that Penalosa was technically better than even Pacquiao who is clearly the superstar of boxing today.


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