Are Pacquiao and Arum on the same page?
By John F. McKenna (McJack): It had been expected that eight division champion Manny Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 KO’s) was going to return to the United States on Sunday to begin training at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym in Hollywood. But for whatever reason Pacquiao delayed his return until October 27. Not to worry though say those around Manny, because he will train in the Philippines during the delay.
One of the cover stories given in the attempt to explain away Pacquiao’s delay in departure back to the states is that as a congressman he has political responsibilities. Those responsibilities, the story goes, cannot be put off until after his 4th fight with WBO lightweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez (54-6-1, 39 KO’s).
Top Rank CEO Bob Arum can’t be happy at the recent turn of events. Arum has stressed over and over the importance of the “Pacman” getting his act together so to speak, so that he can focus entirely on preparing for his 4th encounter with “El Dinamita”. It would be somewhat understandable if “Uncle Bob” were as some reports suggest a little miffed at Pacquiao’s delay in returning to the United States. After all, Arum as the CEO for Top Rank has the responsibility of filling the seats at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas and in general selling the fight to the boxing world. He can’t very well go ahead with some of his planned promotions for the big fight if only Marquez is available.
Five time trainer of the year Freddie Roach prevailed on Manny to abandon his training regimen in the Phillipines to avoid the numerous distractions the Filipino icon must endure on a daily basis in his homeland. Roach was elated when Manny revealed that he would follow his advice and train exclusively at his Wild Card Gym. Freddie, being the gentleman he is, will not blast Pacquiao in the press.
Roach had gone so far as to close the Wild Card Gym starting Monday so that all of his attention could be spent on preparing Manny for what will most likely be another difficult test for him against Marquez. Juan is as cerebral a fighter as there is in boxing today. He has the added luxury of having figured out Pacquiao’s style. Some would suggest that he is so familiar with Manny that he knows what he is going to do before he does it.