MANILA, Philippines – The November 13 fight between Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito of Mexico is just around the corner, but the Filipino champion's conditioning coach wishes the Filipino has more time to work on his conditioning.
"I am just not used to this… I wish we had more time," Pacquiao's conditioning coach, Alex Ariza said in an interview at the Wildcard Boxing Club, Los Angeles, 411mania.com reports.
Ariza admitted he still has concerns about Pacquiao's size and speed.
With the remaining time they have until Pacquiao's battle against Margarito in Texas, Ariza hopes he can whip the Filipino champion into his ideal shape come fight night.
"That just let's me know that my job isn't done yet. I am always concerned, that's just me; I don't want to ever go into a fight thinking that I could have done more,” he said.
Pacquiao has reportedly cut his weight down to 148 pounds, just a pound shy of the welterweight, to retain his trademark speed he'd need to offset Margarito's size advantage.
The Filipino champion is fighting the Mexican "Tijuana Tornado" at the 151-pound catch weight in an attempt to win the World Boxing Council (WBC) super welterweight title.
Ariza also said they can’t allow any more distractions in Pacquiao's training.
“The most important thing is keeping Manny focused on a fight,” he said.
Ariza said he is unfazed by Margarito's advantage in size and reach.
Margarito stands at 5’11” and enjoys a 5-inch height advantage over the 5'6" Pacquiao.
"Size doesn't really mean anything… It's about speed and being in shape. We are always in shape. Pacquiao is in good fighter's shape, but he is not in Manny's shape,” said Ariza.
Roach not worried
Pacquiao’s boxing coach, Freddie Roach, is not worried.
He said that with Pacquiao’s new-found focus on training and Margarito’s usual boxing style, the Filipino champ is headed for the win.
“Once we get back here at the Wild Card, everything is serious,” Roach said in a report by the Ring Magazine.
“There are no politicians to take him away, no presidents asking him to come to meetings and so forth. He’s much more focused… There are no problems. He’s right where he wants to be,” he added.
Roach also said that Margarito’s fighting style is just perfect for Pacquiao.
He said this despite the supposed changes done by trainer Robert Garcia in Margarito’s training repertoire.
“I’m sure they’ll try some new strategies. Usually, when you have a veteran fighter though, after the bell rings and the first punch lands, you kind of revert back to what you are,” said Roach.
“Manny has the game plan to fight this guy. I’m very, very positive that we will stop him. Manny’s hand speed will be way too much for him. He’s a volume puncher but he’s very slow and has terrible footwork,” he added.