QUICK and powerful.
This was how Top Rank Promotion head Bob Arum described Manny Pacquiao who continues to train hard for his title bout with American Jessie Vargas on November 5 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Arum congratulated seven-time Boxing Writers Association of America trainer of the year winner Freddie Roach and the Pacquiao camp for the champ’s great fighting condition.
“I have been in the Wildcard gym everyday. I’m absolutely very surprised to what condition Manny (Pacquiao) is in [right now],” Arum told The Manila Times in a phone interview on Tuesday. “He sparred six rounds last Thursday and looked spectacular.”
“He’s doing that five to six years ago, quick, powerful, and I asked Freddie (Roach) personally how can he (Pacquiao) be in such good shape? I know he’s not training the same way because of the Senate. Freddie said it’s because he’s concentrating more and doing a lot of things when he had a lot of free time.”
Pacquiao, who was elected senator in May, emerged from a brief retirement a few months after dominating American Timothy Bradley via unanimous decision in their third bout on April 9 in Las Vegas.
“I wouldn’t believe in what condition he is in. I never expected this. I heard the time and all the stories he’s spending in the Senate committee,” Arum said. “I just could not believe that he is so much in better shape compared to (what) he was like two years ago. He was like the fighter five to six years ago.”
Pacquiao (58-6-2 win-loss-draw) had a light sparring session with Rey Beltran at the Wildcard gym, said Marvin Somodio, Roach’s assistant trainer.
“Manny is now 100 percent okay. He already developed his timing, speed and power.”
Vargas, 27, who is the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion, holds a 27-1 win-loss record with 10 knockouts.
Nonito Donaire Jr. will also be defending his WBO super bantamweight belt against Jessie Magdaleno, while WBO featherweight Oscar Valdez will be defending his crown against Hiroshige Osawa.
Chinese Zou Shiming and Prasitak Papoem of Thailand will contest the vacant WBO flyweight title.