Manny Pacquiao is slated to begin training in some form on March 26, Alex Ariza tells Ronnie Nathanielsz, as he gets ready for his June 9 fight in Las Vegas against Timothy Bradley.
Once again, Ariza insists that things will go back to the way they used to be, and this time there will be no leg cramp excuses for a lackluster showing like last year against Shane Mosley and Juan Manuel Marquez:
"Manny is still very enthusiastic. He wants to start training, he wants to go back to the plyometrics and strength conditioning which he told me after his last fight ... Ariza expressed the hope that Pacquiao "will go back to how he trained when he fought Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto. We didn’t have any problems then. If we get back to that program we are not going to have problems any more."
Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KO) probably is never again going to look like the guy who knocked Hatton out of boxing and sliced up Cotto six months later, and Ariza either knows that or he's sort of delusional.
The problem is that 2009 was three years ago, and Manny Pacquiao isn't getting younger. 33 doesn't have to be old, but it starts getting old when you've been a pro boxer for 17 of those years and had as many tough fights as Manny has had, and pushed your body to its limit the way he has, too. He can still be a great fighter -- he still is a great fighter -- but his body is never going to respond the way it did in 2009 again. It can, I think, be better than last year's two fights, but it might not be an issue of going back to the old ways, but rather finding what's right now.
I don't know, though. I'll leave that to Ariza.
Pacquiao's had some out-of-ring issues lately, but Bradley says he's not going to worry about any of that, and he'll expect the best Manny in June.