Manny Pacquiao has excelled in more weight classes than anyone in boxing history, and today the Wall Street Journal looks at the incredible conditioning and training that has taken Pacquiao from flyweight champion all the way up to north of the welterweight division for a fight against Antonio Margarito.
Ariza's star client is a physical outlier with a resting heart rate of 42 beats a minute. During intense workouts, that rate will rise to 205—a level the boxer can sustain for long periods. Pacquiao does 2,000 repetitions each day of situps and other punishing abdominal exercises. He rounds out these exercises by, among other things, fast hill runs, interval training, zipping around cones to improve footwork and even, when no fight is coming up, playing basketball.
One theory is that Pacquiao benefits from a high level of energy, one that lets him indulge a consuming passion for exercise. In the morning, his trainer says, he begins with long hill-runs in which only his dog can keep up. In the afternoon, he puts in as many as 12 rounds of sparring followed by seemingly endless calisthenics. Often, when he finishes his grueling 14-exercise ab routine, he'll do it again.
There is no doubt that Manny Pacquiao's dedication to staying in shape full-time rivals anyone in boxing. Bernard Hopkins, the 46-year-old marvel who fights for the light heavyweight world championship on May 21, and Pacquiao's upcoming opponent Shane Mosley have also been noted along the same lines over the years. Hopkins is still fighting great well past a boxer's normal prime years, and Mosley is taking one of the very biggest fights of his career at age 39 in just a few days. While few give Mosley a chance to win, he definitely still looks the part.
Also in the article, Freddie Roach says that they're preparing to keep Manny off of the ropes, which is something that troubled Pacquiao in November against Antonio Margarito. Roach fears Mosley's power in that situation, and rightly so. That might be the only way Mosley can win the fight.