You are in the middle of training and you decide to buy a house worth over 10 million US dollars. While there is nothing wrong about buying a palatial abode, after all you have all the money to burn, surely it can wait considering that you are in the thick of preparations for the biggest fight of your life.
Wait, there’s more: You are in the thick of training and yet another Hollywood/sports celebrity drops by at training camp. What was supposed to be a brief chat ends up being a three-hour talkathon. Nothing wrong with entertaining a Hollywood celebrity, but when the conversation takes longer than a regular two-hour movie, the valuable time lost could have been devoted to training. Oh, let’s not even talk about the horde of reporters, both local and foreign, with whom you will only end up saying the same things over and over again. The last thing you know, leg cramps become the least of your problems. You also have to deal with jaw issues.
Promoter Bob Arum and the rest of Manny Pacquiao’s entourage are already used to the distractions surrounding the Filipino ring icon. Heck, even Pacquiao himself is used to it. “I’m busy,” he said. “But I’m okay with busy.”
As Arum puts it, Pacquiao seems to thrive on the distractions. Then again, while it may be argued that Pacquiao can handle the distractions, surely his preparation for Floyd Mayweather Jr. will get a major boost if he focuses on their fight and nothing else. Surely, it will not hurt if, just for this fight, Pacquiao devotes his attention on Mayweather Jr. and nothing else.
Pacquiao may not know it, but the stream of distractions has hurt his professional boxing career. He has not scored a knockout since 2009, his killer instinct tempered by the image of a public servant he also tries to push. Lest we forget, Pacquiao is an incumbent Congressman who is mulling on seeking a higher office in 2016.
Just recently, trainer Freddie Roach emerged from the Wildcard Gym with a sour face, unsatisfied with the result of Pacquiao’s sparring session. Word is that Roach couldn’t understand why Pacquiao would look so good when they are working out together but would encounter trouble executing during the actual sparring session. It’s easy to see the problem, of course: Focus, or the lack of it.
Last we heard, Roach has ordered a complete lockdown. The lockdown order should have been issued from the day the fight with Mayweather Jr. was officially announced. As things stand, Mayweather Jr. is getting the better training camp. Dig this: Despite being known as a notorious publicity-seeker and trash talker, Mayweather Jr. has isolated himself from the media and even to his fans. Mayweather Jr. has left all the talking to his father and his handlers. As described by the media, Mayweather Jr. has been “strangely subdued” since the day the fight was officially announced.
Mayweather Jr. knows that a lot is at stake come fight time. Make no mistake, Pacquiao knows it, too, it’s just that he is too good a fellow to turn away the fans and reporters who are looking to take a huge chunk of his time. Pressed to respond on his alarming silence, Mayweather Jr. had this to say: “This fight sells itself. Pacquiao is doing a lot of talk shows. I prefer him to do it so I can train.”
For Pacquiao’s sake, let’s leave him alone. All that razzmatazz can come after the victory is sealed.
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For comments, the writer can be reached at atty_eduardo@ yahoo.com.