Manny Pacquiao has a renewed commitment to boxing after losing his welterweight title to Timothy Bradley, and his preparation leading up to his fight with Juan Manuel Marquez will give him a decisive advantage.
In the past, Pac-Man’s focus on his craft has not always been equal to his peers. His interest in politics and music sucked up a significant amount of time, and he has also dealt with problems in his personal life.
Before stepping into the ring with Marquez the last time, Pacquiao did not adequately prepare for the fight.
Lance Pugmire of The Los Angeles Times talked about Pac-Man’s preparation trainer Freddie Roach and reported, “Roach described a pre-Marquez climate that included ‘girls and everything that goes with it,’ late nights of gambling and excessive physical wear playing too many games of basketball.”
Following a controversial victory over Marquez, Pugmire notes that Pacquiao repaired his relationship with his wife—who serve him with divorce papers before the bout—and became more in touch with his faith.
He was much more active and focused when taking on Bradley, but the judges turned in one of the most shocking decisions in recent memory. Although Compubox stats for the fight did not have Bradley landing more punches than Pacquiao in any round, the challenger was still awarded a victory.
After the controversial ruling, Pacquiao’s competitive streak has clearly caused him to train with renewed vigor in order not to leave any doubt on December 8.
Who will win?
Roach was likely worried when Pacquiao did not arrive in Los Angeles until two weeks after his training camp was supposed to start, according to USA Today’s Joe Saraceno. The report quotes Roach saying, “He told me he's been running and (playing basketball and volleyball). He is ahead of schedule, per se. He's in pretty good shape. Normally, we start off with four (rounds on the mitts).”
In addition, Roy Luarca of The Philippine Daily Record notes that Pacquiao started condition for the fight early while still in his home country.
A few weeks after that first day of training, Saraceno reported, “Trainer Freddie Roach said Pacquiao has looked ‘great’ in training camp.”
All of the news coming out of Pacquaio’s camp suggest that the reforms he made in his personal life before the Bradley fight have helped deepen his commitment to boxing, and he is training as hard as ever has.
Pacquiao is more talented than Marquez, and fatigue or lack of preparation will not be factors. All of the news leading up to this fight is pointing towards another Pac-Man victory.