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Friday, March 5, 2010

Analyst: ‘Leg pain’ could mean trouble for Manny

MANILA, Philippines – If there is truth in rumors of that “pain” in Manny Pacquiao’s leg, then he’ll be having some trouble when he faces a full welterweight like Joshua Clottey.

According to veteran boxing analyst Ronnie Nathanielsz, any problem in Pacquiao’s legs could affect his advantage against most boxers inside the ring.

“That can bother him… because ‘yung strength ni Manny ‘yung galaw ng paa niya,” explained Nathanielsz.

Nathanielsz, who has already seen a lot of boxing fights, said that aside from Pacquiao’s mental fortitude, what sets the Filipino champ apart from his competitors is his superior speed.

The analyst said that Pacquiao’s speed could suffer if there indeed some leg pain.

“If he has some pain, medyo mahihirapan s’ya. Speed is his biggest asset,” Nathanielsz said.

The analyst also said that there could be some truth to the rumor that Pacquiao’s conditioning coach, Alex Ariza, has somehow admitted that the Filipino champ has recovered from some sort of pain.

“Sabi ni Alex Ariza, ‘I hope it will hold up. God willing it will hold up until the fight’. Ibig sabihin mayroon siyang concern whether if it will hold up,” said Nathanielsz.

The problem is if it will hold up against someone like Clottey, who will attempt to take away Pacquiao’s World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title on March 13.

Unlike Miguel Cotto whom Pacquiao demolished at a 145-pound catch weight, the Filipino boxer will be fighting Clottey at the full welterweight limit of 147 pounds.

“The question is really if it will hold up in the ring in a fight and against a big strong guy like Clottey,” he said.

Pacquiao earlier denied that he sustained a leg injury while preparing for his welterweight title defense against Clottey.

Pacquiao, who is known to always immerse himself in brutal training whenever he prepares for a fight, dismissed the “slight pain” as a mere sore in his leg.

"Wala namang injury, sore lang ang muscle," he said.

Pacquiao said that they made changes on their strategy to pick on Clottey's defense.

"Binago namin [ang strategy] para ma-apply namin sa fight. 'Yung mga muscles [tuloy] na hindi nagagalaw medyo sumakit," he explained.

During a recent open training in front of the media, Pacquiao showed off his footwork, showing no signs of the reported leg injury.

"It was just shin splints. It's not really an injury. It's more of a nuisance,” said 4-time Trainer of the Year Freddie Roach.

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