MANILA, Philippines – Filipino boxing icon Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao opted to rest instead of attend the title unification fight between countryman Brian "The Hawaiian Punch" Viloria's and Mexican fighter Hernan "Tyson" Marquez.
This is according to his strength and conditioning coach, Alex Ariza.
Pacquiao was expected to be at ringside for Viloria's fight, but was a no-show.
In an interview with Ronnie Nathanielsz of PhilBoxing, Ariza explained why Pacquiao decided not to go to the fight, which was held at the Sports Arena in Los Angeles.
"It's cold outside, and he just thought it would be better since this is the flu season to go home and rest," Ariza explained.
Pacquiao is currently training for his fourth fight against rival Juan Manuel Marquez at the Wild Card Gym. Viloria also spent some time at the Wild Card Gym to prepare for his own fight.
"The Hawaiian Punch" ended up beating Marquez via a 10th round technical knockout to unify the WBO and WBA flyweight title belts.
Ariza said Pacquiao's decision not to go to the fight showed his focus and dedication.
"This just goes to show you that Manny is taking this fourth fight with Juan Manuel Marquez very seriously," he said. "In the past, he would have shown up for something like this."
"This time, he’s playing it safe," Ariza added.
Aside from Viloria, another Filipino also triumphed in the undercard. Drian "Gintong Kamao" Francisco was successful in his United States debut, knocking out Javier Gallo of Mexico in the fifth round.