With a 144-pound catchweight in place for Saturday night's third fight between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez, Ronnie Nathanielsz reports that Pacquiao was at 143 pounds on Thursday, according to strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza.
Ariza, in typical fashion, also couldn't help himself from being bold:
"I won’t be surprised if Manny knocks him out in the first round. ... [W]hen I say knockout, I think Manny knocks him down, jumps on top of him and beats the shit out of him and they stop it."
Ariza's description of Pacquiao's likely ground-and-pound stoppage may have been worded poorly.
Pacquiao hasn't made a flat 144 in a while, but nobody is expect that to be any problem for him, since it's not like he's been much over that weight, either. In his last three fights against Joshua Clottey, Antonio Margarito, and Shane Mosley (in that order), Pacquiao has weighed in at 145¾, 144½, and 145 pounds (in that order).
The official weigh-in for the fight starts today at 6 p.m. EST, and HBO will air the event live. We'll be here with live coverage as well.