Strength and conditioning coach Angel Heredia in Montreal (Photo: Chris Robinson – www.HustleBoss.com)
By Chris Robinson
At the moment, the city of Montreal is buzzing over this weekend’s big showdown between former champions and transplanted residents Jean Pascal and Lucian Bute.
While at Pascal’s open media workout in advance of the HBO clash at the Bell Centre, I crossed paths with his strength and conditioning coach Angel Heredia, who keeps himself busy each year with a bevy of clients that also include Juan Manuel Marquez, Jhonny Gonzalez, and Yuriorkis Gamboa.
Gamboa saw his name thrust into the headlines recently when it was revealed by Michael Koncz that the former featherweight titlist was being considered as a potential foe for Manny Pacquiao’s April return in Las Vegas.
It was puzzling to hear such rumors but Heredia seems open to the match.
“I’m surprised but I think it can happen at 140,” Heredia stated. “I spoke to Gamboa yesterday and he said he’s ready to take on anyone. I just hope that there’s enough boxers that have the courage to confront this great fighter.”
Gamboa had expressed deep interest in a match with junior lightweight champion Mikey Garcia and Heredia was asked whether the Riverside tactician or Pacquiao would be a more difficult test for his charge.
“I think Manny Pacquiao,” Heredia answered. “Because of his speed. He’s accurate, he’s fast. He wants to redeem himself. Mikey Garcia is a great fighter too. He’s very technical, very tricky because he’s very accurate [with] his punches. He’s a good hitter but he’s not as fast. I guess it’s about styles.”
Heredia is no stranger to facing Pacquiao, as he was in camp with Marquez for two of his matches against the Filipino star. The last one, in December of 2012, saw Marquez drill Pacquiao with a counter right hand in the sixth round of another memorable fight.
And perhaps for those reasons Heredia actually would prefer another melee with Manny.
“Frankly I feel more comfortable with Pacquiao, because I know him a little bit better,” stated Heredia.
It should be noted that Top Rank CEO Bob Arum has since denied that Gamboa is in the running to face Pacquiao.
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Chris Robinson can be reached at Trimond@aol.com