MANILA, Philippines – Strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza is very pleased with how Filipino fight king Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao has been performing in his training camp for his December 8 bout against rival Juan Manuel Marquez.
In an interview with Ronnie Nathanielsz of PhilBoxing, Ariza gushed about Pacquiao’s performance during his sparring sessions at the Wild Card Gym, saying the Filipino boxer is now “at a different level.”
“It’s some of the best sparring that I’ve seen from Manny,” Ariza told Nathanielsz in a phone interview. “It’s not just the sparring, but the movements that he has.”
“I think his hands and his footwork is almost at a different level that I’ve seen in a long time,” he added.
Ariza again praised assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez, who oversaw the first leg of Pacquiao’s training camp in General Santos City.
“The combination of having Buboy Fernandez is very good at making Manny throw lots of punches with volume and speed,” he said. “I think (Pacquiao) really likes the change in pace, having Buboy come in and work on speed and volume punches.”
Ariza explained that Pacquiao devotes a couple of rounds of sparring on his speed and volume punching.
“It gets Manny tired because it’s a different pace, with speed and volume punching. It was some of the best footwork and pressure that I’ve seen from Manny in a long time,” he said. “Not just pressure coming forward, but pressure and throwing punches at the same time.”
Pacquiao is hoping to finally get a decisive victory against Marquez when they fight on December 8. The two boxers battled to a draw in their first fight in 2004, before Pacquiao won the 2008 and 2011 rematches via controversial decisions.