LOS ANGELES (via GMA News) - Three-division world champion Marco Antonio Barrera was all praises after witnessing the sharp form displayed by boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao against three sparring partners on Tuesday (Wednesday, manila time) at the Wildcard gym along Vine Street in West Hollywood.
Pacquiao, who skipped his short morning run in favor of a long sleep, was quick on his feet and firing on all cylinders in a performance that left Barrera amazed as he witnessed the training session as chief boxing correspondent for Television Azteca in Mexico.
Pacquiao responded to the Mexican legend's presence by putting up what trainer Freddie Roach described as their "best day of training camp" to date for the Filipino’s December 8 (December 9, Manila time) meeting with Mexican warrior Juan Manuel Marquez.
The 33-year-old Pacquiao, an eight-division world champion, battered Barrera in the two times they met, including a sensational 11th-round stoppage in 2003 that propelled the Filipino to boxing superstardom.
Watching Pacquiao pounding a hapless Vladimir Saurhankan left Barrera still convinced that his former tormentor remains the world’s top fighter, pound-for-pound.
“He is still number one pound for pound best boxer,” Barrera said as he waited in line to get Pacquiao for a sitdown interview.
The former World Boxing Council featherweight king stressed Pacquiao does not look a bit like the washed-up fighter many had pictured him to be in the wake of his stunning 12-round split decision loss to Timothy Bradley last June.
“He is looking very good. He is still very strong. He is working hard because of his fourth meeting with Marquez,” Barrera told GMA News after watching Pacman in eight rounds of sparring.
Saurhankan, one of three Russian sparmates tapped by Roach, got a rude welcome from the Filipino southpaw, who put on a blistering first three rounds that had the Russian amateur boxer gasping for air after nine minutes inside the ring with the best fighter in the world today.