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article imageArum: 'Pacquiao is the Bruce Lee of Boxing'

By Ariel A. Avenasa     Oct 27, 2009 in Sports
Top Rank Chairman Bob Arum recently flew to the Philippines to personally witness the training preparations of Filipino boxer and pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao. He was so impressed that he likens him to the legendary martial artist/actor Bruce Lee.
Top Rank Promotions Chairman Bob Arum has been in the boxing business for more than four decades and has promoted over four hundred world championship fights within that span. During that time he has been around Hall of Fame fighters such as Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler, Roberto Duran, Oscar De La Hoya, and Floyd Mayweather Jr., that you would think he has seen everything there is to see in the sport of boxing.
But in yesterday’s issue of the Las Vegas Sun, the Harvard-educated lawyer turned promoter came out with high praises for Filipino boxing phenomenon Manny Pacquiao’s training regimen which he personally witnessed during his recent trip to the Philippines.
“In more than 40 years as a boxing promoter, working with Hall of Fame fighters like Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler, and Roberto Duran, I’ve never (seen) anything like it. His training sessions go on for about four hours without a break”, Arum wrote in his column In My Corner.
Arum describes Pacquiao’s energy and stamina as exhausting even for those watching as he continuously goes from one activity to the other without pause: from hitting the mitts, to actual sparring, then skipping rope, and finally through working the heavy and light bags. When the Pacman finally does stand still, he then allows himself to be pounded in the midsection with a bamboo pole for about twenty minutes, reminiscent of Thai martial art muay thai training techniques.
The 77-year old Hall of Fame promoter continued to heap praise on Pacquiao’s showing in sparring saying, “The shear athleticism that Manny brings to his workouts reminds me of the great martial artist Bruce Lee. The more one reflects on Manny and his ring performances, the clearer it becomes that he is the Bruce Lee of boxing. This athletic style is unique in boxing to Manny. In more than four decades of promoting fights, I have never seen anyone like Manny Pacquiao and his Bruce Lee style of boxing.”
Bruce Lee is the legendary Chinese-American martial artist/movie actor who founded Jeet Kune Do and became a cultural icon through his films The Big Boss, Fist of Fury, Way of the Dragon, Enter the Dragon, and The Game of Death. Lee broke through cultural barriers when he became the first Asian to star in a major Hollywood production in the movie Enter the Dragon and in the process re-introduced a new era of popularity and appreciation for Chinese martial arts in the West. He never lived to enjoy the success of the said movie however as he died of 'mysterious' circumstances three weeks before its release, on July 20, 1973 at the age of 32.
Manny Pacquiao is scheduled to fight Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto for the latter’s WBO Welterweight Title in an eagerly awaited pay-per-view event on November 14th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
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