Saturday, November 6, 2010
HOLLYWOOD—In a moment of idleness, Manny Pacquiao will often creep up on members of his entourage from behind and give them an open-fisted strike in their behinds.
Sometimes they find it funny, sometimes they don’t. Alex Ariza got stung by one of those slaps. And he feels one thing—beyond the pain—when the Pacman is in such a playful mood.
Manny Pacquiao is ready to do battle with Antonio Margarito for the World Boxing Council light middleweight crown on Nov, 13 at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
“He (Pacquiao) is definitely in top shape,” said the strength and conditioning coach, who joined Team Pacquiao early in 2008, on Friday. “He looks good, his quickness is there.”
Ariza, a Colombian, also shrugged off concerns about Margarito’s edge in height (4 1/2 inches) and reach (6 inches).
“I’ve heard a lot of concerns about his (Margarito’s) size, but I think, you know sometimes one complements the other”—meaning Pacquiao’s smaller frame will be compensated by his uncanny speed.
With barely eight days to go before the fight, Ariza wants to make sure that Pacquiao stays in peak form, not only through training but also through proper nutrition.
“We increased the fat intake and lowered the protein,” said Ariza. “We also increased the carbohydrates. It’s about making the adjustments needed to fuel him for the fight Saturday night.
Ariza said that if Pacquiao weighs in at 148 on Friday, he’s going to climb the ring at the same weight.
“Because his metabolism will not allow him to get bigger,” said Ariza.
“I don’t want him to be at 150 because that’s not his comfortable weight.”
And Pacquiao maybe right on the dot as during an unofficial weigh in at Wild Card Friday, he tipped the scales at 150 pounds with his clothes and shoes on.