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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Manny Pacquiao switches to organic diet for Timothy Bradley fight

Manny PacquiaoManny Pacquiao is altering some of his preparation as he gets ready for his fight with Timothy Bradley next month.

Pacquiao, who rebounded from consecutive losses in 2012 with a unanimous decision victory over Brandon Rios in November, has taken on a new strength and conditioning coach. That coach, Cecilio Flores, has put Pac-Man on an organic diet in order to help ensure the Filipino fighter’s strength and stamina are at their peak for the April 12 fight in Las Vegas.

Flores is making sure Pacquiao only eats chemical-free fish, vegetables, meat and other natural foods, according to the Inquirer.

Flores has worked with Nonito Donaire, Kelly Pavlik, Marcos Maidana and Sergio Martinez in the past, and this is his first time working with Pacquiao. The story of how he got the gig is pretty interesting.

You may recall that Pacquiao used to work with Alex Ariza for strength and conditioning. However, Ariza and Pacquiao’s longtime trainer, Freddie Roach, did not get along. Roach did not agree with Ariza’s training methods and specifically commented that Manny’s legs looked tired and heavy during fights (that he lost) because of too much training.

After being dumped by Pacquiao’s team, Ariza was hired by Rios before the fight between the two men. Whatever Ariza added did little to help Rios for the fight.

According to Rappler, after Pacquiao split with Ariza, Flores flew to the Philippines on his own expense, located Pacquiao, and did his best to convince the boxer to hire him. The plan worked and Flores is now part of Pacquiao’s team for at least this fight.

The crew recently came out to Los Angeles for the final month of preparation ahead of the Las Vegas fight. In LA, Flores will likely be working with Pacquiao’s old strength/conditioning coach Justin Fortune. Flores told Rappler he would likely focus more on conditioning while Fortune would focus on the strength part.

Of course, Flores is wisely being sensitive to Pacquiao’s history and recognizes he is new to the team. Because of that, he doesn’t want to do anything too drastic ahead of the big fight.

Pacquiao, 35, is 55-5-2 and still looking to rebuild his name after the back-to-back losses. I thought he got a terrible deal from the judges in the first Bradley fight, but there was no way to get around the awful knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez. A convincing win over Bradley would go a long way to rebuilding Pacquiao’s standing as a top pound-for-pound fighter in the world.



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