Los Angeles, United States | AFP| – Filipino boxing star Manny Pacquiao has matured a lot since his six-round knockout loss to Mexican boxer Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012.
“He has learned a big lesson out of that. He became more cautious and has matured a lot as a fighter,” says Restituto “Buboy” Fernandez, a long-time associate and the assistant trainer for Pacquiao.
Fernandez said Pacquiao was winning the fight and was about to finish off Marquez when he became hasty.
“He is a fearless fighter inside the ring. In his desire to end the fight in a convincing fashion just to make the fans happy, he went for the kill in the dying seconds of the sixth round. And he paid dearly for it,” recalled Fernandez.
Now, Fernandez says, Pacquiao has remained ferocious but is no longer a careless fighter.
“His punches now are sharper and harder than before. We’ve been training together for years and I can say it based on actual experience,” said Fernandez, who suffered a cut on his mouth during the punch mitts session at the Fortune Gym on Tuesday.
Several times during the punch mitts session, Fernandez was dazed due to non-stop pounding from the Pinoy boxing superstar.
“I was accidentally caught with his left upper cut. His punches were controlled but coming from someone like Manny Pacquiao, you’d really be hurt,” Fernandez said.
Fernandez believes that Pacquiao’s barrage of powerful punches will eventually break down Floyd Mayweather’s defense.
The unbeaten welterweight Mayweather (47-0, 26KOs) faces eight-division champion Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38KOs) in Las Vegas on May 2 in the richest fight of all time.
“Mayweather has not fought in his entire career a fighter with so much power, speed and a fearless heart like Manny Pacquiao. His defence would be shattered,” Fernandez said.
Meanwhile, Pacquiao was unperturbed by reports that Mayweather’s camp was bribing his prospective sparring mates.
“It’s okay. I’m not bothered. Coach Freddie (Roach) had already hired a few sparring partners who are Mayweather’s look-alike,” Pacquiao said.
“During the fight, there’s no other guy atop the ring except the two of us. I know what to do. And that’s what we’re practising now,” Pacquiao said.
Pacquiao vowed to pursue Mayweather relentlessly from pillar to post, adding that “He can run but he cannot hide.”