There is just so much that can be said about Manny Pacquiao who is currently the pound for pound king and has recently been named “fighter of the decade”. He is arguably one of the most destructive boxers of his era and will surely go down in history as one of the greatest boxers of all time.
But what makes Manny so great? Is it purely talent and hard work or is does it have more to do with being trained by the best in the business? I believe it’s a combination of all these things. One thing that really stands out about the man is he really seems passionate about what he does. Manny likes to have a good time. He is the lead singer in a band that has sold more than a million albums. He has also become a congressman in his native Philippines where he is helping to build a hospital and improve the educational system in the Sarangani province, the region he represents.
What I find amazing though is the physical shape he is in. Since his career began he has moved up seven different weight classes and dominated by winning world titles in each class. Amazingly he has kept his unbelievable speed while developing strength, power and size. Usually fighters who go up in weight struggle to knock guys out and are often slower. Not Pacquiao. Along with his strength his hands are blindingly fast. He reminds me of Bruce Lee. In fact I think Manny is Bruce Lee reincarnated. He has that aura about him. Ross Greenburg, who is the president of HBO Sports, likened him more to Ali. “He reminds me of a time I was walking with Muhammad Ali and he literally stopped traffic,” Greenburg once said. “People were mesmerized, and it is the same with Manny.”
What I am really interested in is how Pacquiao has developed as an athlete and what training methods he uses to get himself into this unbelievable shape. His strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza togther with Freddie Roach have really done a wonderful job.
When he is not training for a fight he still keeps himself fit by running and playing basketball which he loves. He actually owns his own basketball team in Manila, in the Philippines. When he is training for a fight he usually starts his training camp about eight weeks before which is unusually short for a boxer preparing for a big fight. This is because he works so hard that his trainers don’t want him to burn out if he starts preparation any sooner. The intensity he trains at make him what he is. His trainers have a difficult time slowing him down and at the end of a days training, they are almost begging him to stop. Manny Pacquiao’s training routine varies, but for the most part he is up early running a few miles and doing either hill sprints or sprint work at the Los Angeles public high-school track. This is followed by a grueling three-hour workout in Roach’s Wild Card Gym in the afternoon. The workouts vary but over the course of the week he combines shadow-boxing, working the mitts, bag work, plyometrics, sparring, skipping and a stretching routine. On Sundays, Manny rests.