One of many amazing aspects of Manny Pacquiao’s rise to superstardom has been his ability to dominate opponents even as he has moved up in weight.
Naazim Richardson, the trainer of Pacquiao’s opponent on May 7, Shane Mosley, said the reason for that isn't complicated.
Smaller fighters typically bring more energy and a higher punch rate into the ring than bigger fighters. Pacquiao, one of the hardest workers in the sport, has been able to bring those tendencies with him as he has climbed weight classes.
Richardson compared Pacquiao to another whirling dervish, Hall of Famer Aaron Pryor.
“Aaron Pryor was an all-action fighter,” Richardson said on a conference call he shared with Mosley on Tuesday. "He had a decent punch, but what set him apart was that he was all over his opponents. He would get hit with a good shot and back off for a second and then jump right back on them. His energy level was extraordinary.
"Pacquiao brings the same kind of electricity to the ring. The smaller weight classes, they have a lot of energy down there. Moving to the bigger weights, he’s had an easier time.”
So why hasn't Pacquiao lost energy or punching power as he has moved up in weight?
Luck? Some fighters are naturally able to adapt better than others as they move up in weight. For example, Thomas Hearns maintained his punching power as he grew; many don't.
The hard work? Ask anyone who has seen Pacquiao train and they’ll tell that he’s insane in that regard.
Richardson rejects the notion that Pacquiao might’ve used foreign substances to help him transition from one weight to the next.
“Without any guaranteed proof, I wouldn’t put anything out like that on a young athlete,” he said. “I feel it’s derogatory, disrespectful. He has a great team. He prepares himself in a great manner."
Marquez offer: Mosley wasn’t offended by Top Rank’s offer to Juan Manuel Marquez to be Pacquiao’s next opponent when he has yet to beat Mosley.
The fight would take place in October, although no specific date or site has been determined.
“That’s fine,” Mosley said. “Sometimes business people have to make … the next fight, to look ahead. That’s what makes Top Rank a great promoter, looking to the next fight.
“That’s not for Manny Pacquiao to think that way, or me. We have to think about May 7."
Bob Arum, president of Top Rank, wasn’t as magnanimous as Mosley.
Top Rank apparently had to send a copy of the offer to arch rival Golden Boy Promotions, whose contract with Marquez has expired but which retains the right to match any offer.
Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy, was the source of the news about the offer.
“Take whatever Schaefer says as gospel,” Arum said sarcastically. “I’ll leave it at that. I have no comment about offering a fight, which is absurd. Manny has a very tough fight with Shane Mosley. Just carry on listening to what Schaefer says."
Absurd? Does that mean Schaefer lied about the offer? Arum was asked.
“I’m not saying anything,” he said.
That pretty much confirms that the offer was made.
There’s old and then there’s old: Richardson said many people have the wrong perspective on Mosley’s age, 39.
“Most of you saw the (Erik) Morales fight,” Richardson said, referring to Morales’ stunning performance against Marcos Maidana. “You saw (Jean) Pascal and (Bernard) Hopkins. These aren’t just old men who are still boxing. These are legendary fighters who have aged.
“… Michael Jordan can probably still make the starting five of any team today. When a special athlete gets older, he can still be extraordinary."
Mosley didn’t look extraordinary in his last two fights, against Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Sergio Mora. He just looked old.