BAGUIO CITY—Trainer Freddie Roach said Manny Pacquiao is getting better. But don’t tell that to the pound-for-pound king’s promoter Bob Arum.
Roach made the assessment after Pacquiao put up an energetic show yesterday in his workout filmed by a crew from HBO and the country’s major TV networks.
Showing flashes of the Pacquiao of old in training, the Filipino champ went through extra rounds shadow boxing, working with the mitts and blasting the speed balls at the Cooseeyan Sports Complex gym.
Pleased with Pacquiao’s overall performance, Roach said his prized fighter is getting “better and better” in his buildup for next month’s title fight against Antonio Margarito in Arlington, Texas.
But Arum was unconvinced.
“When I saw him train last Saturday, I didn’t see the kind of speed that he would need to beat (Antonio) Margarito,” the 78-year-old Arum told sportswriters yesterday.
“If the fight happened that Saturday, Margarito would win the fight.”
The promoter non pareil said he believes, though, that Pacquiao will be 100 percent ready on Nov. 13, when he fights Margarito for the WBC superwelterweight crown at the Cowboys Stadium.
“He has plenty of time to get into shape and be the old Manny Pacquiao again,” Arum said. “And if he’s the old Manny Pacquiao, he’s too fast and too talented to get beat by Margarito.”
To regain his old, deadly form, Arum said Pacquiao must train harder for the fight.
“He’s skillful and he has a lot of attributes, but without the hard work it’s not gonna be there,” the promoter said.
Also on hand to watch Pacquiao’s 30-round workout were his wife, Jinkee, and Zyrene Parsad, who has been chosen to sing the national anthem in Texas.
Earlier in the morning, Pacquiao spent more than an hour jogging up and down hills near Teachers Camp, interspersed with sprints and lateral runs designed to further improve his footwork.
Conditioning expert Alex Ariza said Pacquiao is peaking at the right time and is where he needs to be at this stage of training.
Later in the afternoon, heavy rains and howling winds brought by supertyphoon Juan battered this city, causing fluctuating current and signal disruptions.
Team Pacquiao is set to go down to Manila on Wednesday and leave for Los Angeles, where he is slated to complete his preparations for Margarito at Roach’s Wild Card Gym, on Saturday. Photo by Mark Giongco