Pacquiao back in top form, says Arum

MANILA, Philippines – With less than 4 weeks to go before the rubber match between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley Jr on April 10 (April 9 in US), Top Rank Promotions chief Bob Arum said that the Filipino boxing icon is back in fearsome form.

Arum saw Pacquiao’s intense training first-hand when he visited the 37-year-old southpaw at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Club in Los Angeles, California. (IN PHOTOS: Manny Pacquiao jogs in Los Angeles)

“He looked very, very good. The power is much better,” the 84-year-old promoter said in an interview with PhilBoxing.com.

Arum also noticed that Pacquiao was using his right hand frequently in his 8-round sparring sessions with Ghislain Maduma and Lydell Rhodes. 

“Now, it’s full operational and much, much better. When he hits the mitts of Roach with the right hand, the sound is probably even bigger than the sound when he hits with his left,” he shared. 

Top Rank publicist Fred Sternberg echoed the same sentiment as Arum’s observation when he took a closer look of Pacquiao’s recent sparring. 

“The best thing about it was he was throwing his right hand an awful lot. He landed often and it was powerful,” Sternberg stated. 

Pacquiao blamed his injured right shoulder for his poor performance in his May 2015 blockbuster against Floyd Mayweather. 

Boxing’s only 8-division world champion injured his right shoulder 3 weeks before the highly-anticipated encounter with Mayweather and was forced to take several days off from sparring as he nursed the aforementioned ailment. 

An MRI exam subsequently showed a rotator cuff tear on Pacquiao’s shoulder, but his camp opted to proceed with the fight since he made good progress and looked like he could still compete.

While Mayweather landed 148 of 435 punches during the 12-round title unification tussle, Pacquiao connected with just 81 of 429 as his aggressive style was neutralized by his opponent’s flashy defense and ring generalship. 

Pacquiao revealed that the shoulder injury limited him from throwing more shots, compelling him to undergo an immediate surgery 4 days after the fight. 

In his past interviews, Pacquiao reassured that his shoulder had fully recovered and issued a stern warning to Bradley after the latter’s declaration that he will be targeting it on fight night.

Sternberg stressed Pacquiao is starting to show signs of his old self that made him one of the most exciting boxers to watch.

“Manny gave it a good go in sparring and then hit the punch-mitts, the bags and was looking like his old self again,” he said. 

Pacquiao and Roach kicked off the most crucial part of the training camp on Tuesday, March 15 (Manila time) after holding the first phase of preparations in General Santos City.

Live training at Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles Posted by Manny Pacquiao on Monday, 14 March 2016 – Rappler.com