MANILA, Philippines -- Boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao allayed Bob Arum’s fears that he might be losing focus on training for his fourth bout against Juan Manuel Marquez.
Despite delaying his US training for one more week, the fighting congressman appears to be going all out in his preparations in General Santos City.
During his training session with assistant coach Buboy Fernandez, Pacquiao showed off his strength and speed while Fernandez simulated the fighting style of Marquez.
“’Yong galaw ni Marquez gagayahin ko. Mahirap naman kung bitaw ng bitaw lang ng suntok. Ang pinag-aaralan naming talaga ‘yung paano kung tayo na ang susuntok, so kung saan iilag si Marquez, anong bibitiwang suntok,” said Fernandez.
The Pacman does 18 mitt sessions daily, which include studying the possible dirty tactics that may be employed by Marquez.
Top Rank’s Arum earlier expressed concern that Team Pacquiao is still in General Santos.
The fighting congressman was supposed to arrive in the US over the weekend to kick off his training at the Wild Card Gym.
However, Pacquiao has chosen to prolong his stay in General Santos to take care of several matters.
As a result, the boxer's promotional activities in the US for his upcoming fight have been stalled.
This prompted Arum to ask Pacquiao to choose between boxing and politics.
"Manny has to decide whether he is a boxer or he's a politician,” a peeved Arum told local sports commentator Ronnie Nathanielsz.
“I would like for the next two months for him to be a boxer and then the politics will take care of itself when he finishes the fight with Marquez. But that's up to him."
But Fernandez insisted that Pacquiao is more comfortable in his hometown.
“Walang istorbo at napakiusapan natin yong mga kaibigan natin at maganda yong ipinapakita ng training,” he said.
Pacquiao is now in his third week of training in General Santos City, and team Pacquiao doesn't plan to leave for the US until October 27.
Roach not worried
Meanwhile, his trainer Freddie Roach is not worried over Pacquiao postponing his US training.
In an interview with Philboxing’s Rich Mazon, Roach is confident that they still have plenty of time to prepare against Marquez.
"No big deal. He'll be a couple days late but we have eight weeks before the fight, plenty of time," assured Roach.
Roach said he already lined up Pacquiao’s sparring partners who will mimic Marquez’s movements.
This includes Pacquiao’s training partner Ray Beltran, who is a skilled counter-puncher just like Marquez.
Roach will also be retaining Russian boxer Ruslan Provodnikov, who helped Pacquiao prepare against Timothy Bradley. -- With a report from Jay Dayupay, ABS-CBN General Santos City