News of more camp drama as former camp-member Fortune is now drafted to be Pacquiao’s Strength and Conditioning coach, and now Ariza is to be in Bam Bam Rios’ camp. Who knows what advantages Ariza is bringing to Bam Bam’s camp (arguably more about Roach’s plan rather than knowledge of Manny), but on paper, it seems to be another thorn of drama on what was supposed to be Pacquiao’s rebuilding journey. Bam Bam’s chances are now looking better as the younger, hungrier lion coming into the ring now with the careful preparation Ariza can employ.
Though, much of this echoes off the careful manicured story Mayweather employs in his stories coming up on big fights. Mayweather loves weaving in stories of his injured hand, the under-the-skin confidence that aggravates his opponent, only to turn the tables and come into the first round yelling, “Take my belt!” with both hands and blazing footwork. Mayweather’s talents and game time prowess are ever-surprising trump cards that are brought out in the ring. The question is now is if Pacquiao similarly has the same level of confidence coming into the fight with Rios.
Pacquiao has always had too many people in his clique. He was also too trusting at times to the people he has closest in his inner circle. Ariza leaving to Bam Bam’s camp would be jarring for any other man who has spent years building his camp with the right people, but he was replaced with the man that helped him build that legacy in the first place. Regardless of the back stories, does Manny still have the confidence to take care of businss in the ring? To put it all on the line and focus on the opponents defeat while not making mistakes? If he really cares about about that then it doesn’t matter who he has in his side. Manny knows what it takes to be in shape come fight night. Manny knows what angles to pursue to get the knockout, and he should also know the level he should escalate to win. If he really is serious about continuing to box, I hope that all these news about camp changes are just details to him, and drama to the audience.
At these times where Roach (and arguably even Robert Garcia) are extremely busy maintaining a stable of fighters, the core motivation must come from the fighter. Especially one with a career as esteemed as Manny, I really hope he digs deep to find that passion to box, if he really wants to fight. I’m talking about Pacquiao vs. Marquez I passion, vs. Morales II, vs. Barrera passion.
And after hearing that he’s going to be sparring with a stud named Fredrick Lawson it seems at least he has a plan. Here’s hoping that we see some of that glimmer of Pacquiao hunger that we’ve been missing (for me, since the Mosley fight).