Manny Pacquiao: This will be the fight of the year
Manny Pacquiao is only days away from his third fight against Juan Manuel Marquez.
At a recent media day, the members of Pacquiao's training camp said that he's become more of a complete fighter since their first two bouts. That he's more motivated. And that he has developed a strong disdain for his competitor.
"It's such a personal thing to him that I think he's using that as his motivation," said Alex Ariza, Pacquiao's strength and conditioning coach. "He's using this dislike for Marquez as motivation."
Their first fight in 2004 ended in a draw and Pacquiao won their last bout in 2008 by a split decision. Marquez believes he was cheated out of two victories and wore a shirt last November that said, "Marquez beat Pacquiao twice!!"
Pacquiao found that disrespectful.
"The different of this training camp is I'm very motivated," Pacquiao said.
Pacquiao's promoter Bob Arum said that he's become more technically sound since he last fought Marquez.
"I look for Manny to win because of the improvement in his right hand," Arum said. "When he fought Marquez the first two times, he was a one-armed fighter. He attacked him with the left hand. Now you can't just concentrate on Manny's left because he hits you just as hard with the right hand."
When asked how many rounds the fight would last, Arum said he didn't know. Ariza said Pacquiao will deliver a knockout punch within the first three rounds.
Said Pacquiao: "This is our last fight. It's going to be the fight of the year."
Pacquiao has a secret weapon.
She's blond and rivals his speed (her hips may shake faster than he can deliver a punch.)
According to Ariza, Pacquiao listens to her music whenever he works out. He knows all of her songs by heart and sings and dances to them while warming up.
"I love the Shakira album," Pacquiao said.
When asked what's his favorite song, Pacquiao said, "All of the songs of Shakira."
Even though Pacquiao is the consummate hard worker, Ariza said that being his coach is anything but easy.
"Manny is a natural litigator by nature," he said. "Everything that you discuss with him or want him to do, it has to be an argument in it. It has to go back and forth for 15 to 20 minutes before he feels satisfied to do it."
Ariza said that when he tells Pacquiao to eat four eggs, the fighter will insist on eating three.
"We're always arguing something with Alex, but it's part of our joke," Pacquiao said with a smile.
One of Pacquiao's greatest challenges is maintaining weight.
"Its hard to do that," Pacquiao said. "I have to eat a lot every day, morning and afternoon."
Ariza said the fighter can burn up to 2,500 calories in a workout and can consume up to 6,000 calories in a day.
"I wish he had more cheat days," Ariza said. "Anything to keep the calories up."
As for his diet, Ariza said Pacquiao eats red meat three to four times a week and consumes a lot of eggs.