Legendary boxing promoter Bob Arum arrived in the country early Saturday morning, bringing with him an important warning Manny Pacquiao should not readily ignore.
"He better step up his training because this guy (Antonio Margarito) poses very, very unique dangers," said the chairman of Top Rank, which owns the promotional rights on both Pacquiao and Margarito, the two warriors slugging it out in the November 13 world title fight at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Arum came over to check Pacquiao's training camp in Baguio City, where a media day will be held on Monday at the Shape Up Gym inside the Cooyesan Hotel.
Having heard of the many distractions that have so far disrupted the world’s top pound-for-pound fighter's training, Arum said Pacquiao better not take Margarito for granted.
"He is in the best shape I have ever seen," said Arum of Margarito, who holds training camp at Oxnard, California under the watchful eyes of chief trainer Robert Garcia.
"He would be a big danger for any welterweight in the world."
Pacquiao and trainer Freddie Roach are now in the final four weeks of their training session in Baguio City that has been disrupted several times, The 31-year old boxing icon traveled back to Manila twice, owing to his commitments as congressman from the province of Sarangani. His penchant for playing basketball also cost him some early morning road work.
That's not to mention the cold virus Pacquiao acquired that forced him to cancel training for a day.
In contrast, Margarito has been focused in his preparation, not once missing training camp, and that puts him in "tremendous shape," according to Arum.
Still, the veteran promoter believes Pacquiao remains the odds-on favorite to win the fight that has the World Boxing Council (WBC) junior middleweight title at stake.
"Pacquiao is something special. No matter how big they are, Manny Pacquiao can handle them," said Arum. “Manny has to be able to utilize that incredible speed that he has together with his ability to punch with two hands."
Arum will travel back with Pacquiao to Manila on October 22, and if plans push through, may join the Filipino southpaw in his trip to Los Angeles the following day to resume training at the Wild Card gym. – JVP, GMANews.TV