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MANNY KNOWS


PhilBoxing.com





Manny Pacquiao is one of the greatest pound for pound boxers that ever lived. The only 8 division world champion in the history of the sport, a record of 11 major world titles won and is gunning for his twelfth, These days everybody regards him now as a has-been, an afterthought, a fat Elvis who is now a novelty show. Gone is the old Pacquiao who used to dazzle with his blinding speed, the arrhythmic and impossible to time movements, the crazy angles, the relentless offensive machine, the pesky little thing that swarm opponents with raining punches overwhelming and subjecting them to submission. All he is now is a shade of his old self. Not only has father time caught up to him, but his hunger is gone. What truly destroyed him as a boxer is not his age but his conflicting focus and interests particularly politics. But a true love for his countrymen ain't bad at all, matter of fact that is commendable. Just not for boxing and being a boxer.

The degree of separation at elite level boxing is razor thin, and without 110% dedication to the craft, you will be exposed. But make no mistake about it, Manny is still capable of getting back to his old deadly self. First is he needs to admit he is not his old self anymore, secondly he needs to realize his old training is no longer as effective when he was on his prime. Considering his age and busy schedule, what he needs now is to rely on proven scientific approach to training. Reenter Alex Ariza.

Much have been said about Roach transforming Pacquiao from a raw puncher to a polished boxer and rightfully so considering the successes they have with their partnership. But one thing that is not mentioned too often is Ariza's proven work with Manny. Not to discount Freddie's boxing specific training, Ariza has transformed Pacman to a lean fighting machine when he was still with Team Pacquiao. Boxing fans has long been were clamoring for a Pacquiao knockout and that has not come. Most defenders are saying Manny is not even a true welterweight to knock naturally bigger boxers than him. What people forget though is that when Ariza was working with Manny, he was mowing people down. Remember Cotto? He is a big welterweight and certainly not a pushover. He himself is a future hall of famer. But Manny knocked him down, not once, not twice, but three times via a TKO. That was year 2009 and was his last. Ariza was the one who molded and helped train him for that fight. Did anyone really credited Ariza's role and impact on Pacquiao? Not much.

Freddie might still have the mind to strategize for a fight but he himself is not the same younger and healthier version of himself. Due to his illness and frankly his age, his mitt work with Pacman has slowed down significantly and he is not as fast in catching Pacquiao's vaunted speed. In essence, he unknowingly is training Manny on a slower speed that what Pacquiao is capable of. Manny's volume punch and legendary speed is now gone, so is his edge against his opponents. For Manny to regain his old form, he needs an efficient training now more than boxing strategies. He already got the skills. What he need back is his explosiveness, his power, his speed to get back on the elite level of the game. For him to be relevant again as he do few more fights, He needs Alex Ariza back. Otherwise he will just be one of those elite boxers who never knew when to quit and just become stepping stone for the upcoming young boxers. That will be tough to see. I hope Manny indeed knows.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Estace Yambot.


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