Manny Pacquiao's leg cramps were blamed for a rocky pair of performances in 2011. Has enough been done to prevent them tonight? (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Author Gary Andrew Poole, who wrote the book PacMan, has a piece at Grantland regarding the lingering issue of Manny Pacquiao's calves, and specifically, the cramping issues that supposedly hindered him last year in fights with Shane Mosley and Juan Manuel Marquez.
What is the state of Pacquiao's calves? What story do they tell us this time? Team Pacquiao's plan is for him to lay off the endurance work in this camp, do more sprints, more boxing-specific leg exercises, and space out intense workouts between more rest days. Who knows if it will work? It's still unclear if Pacquiao can alter his routine as he grows older, and he proclaims, as usual, that his calves are fine. "I have had no problems with them," he told me recently. "I have been doing plyometrics and isometrics for the first time in many training camps and I think that has been a big help. Other than that I have not done anything special nor have seen any specialists."
It's an interesting story overall and I really recommend checking it out. The main issue I'd have with Team Pacquiao here is that they haven't bothered seeing a specialist at all. If his legs are bothering him that way, wouldn't you want to find out exactly why? This is an international superstar athlete who makes $20M+ every time he fights. Why would you mess around with something that could be easily diagnosed and relatively easily fixed?
But of course, the doctor interviewed does say he'd have to have some blood work done, and as we all know, Manny is askeered of the needles.
Another interesting excerpt was this one:
Pacquiao's reluctance to work within the realm of modern medicine is an age-old boxing tradition. Juan Manuel Marquez used to drink his own urine; Archie Moore swore by an "Aboriginal diet" in which he chewed on meat, sucked out the blood, and then spit out the meat; Ray Robinson supposedly drank human blood (an old-timer who was in the Robinson camp swore to me he witnessed it); Evander Holyfield turned to prayer to help a heart condition; Oscar De La Hoya ate deer and kangaroo meat because his trainer told him, "Deer run fast," and because kangaroos' "legs are strong and when you get in the fight you'll be strong like a kangaroo." Why did he follow such reasoning? "I was in his hands," De La Hoya explained. "I just trained."
Oscar De La Hoya believed some goober story that he was going to become a deer-kangaroo because he ate their meat. Because he "had to," I guess.
That is the dumbest damn thing I ever heard of.