Under the watchful eyes of world-famous Freddie Roach and Vice Mayor Buboy Fernandez, Senator Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs), the Philippines’ national treasure, boxer laureate and the sweet science’s only eight-division world champion, kicked off his U.S. training camp with eight rounds of sparring. Not bad for the jet lagged fighter who arrived at LAX after a 19-hour flight on Saturday night to a throng of media and fans. After five weeks of training in the Philippines, Manny is back at Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif., preparing for his third world championship fight in the past 12 months. Amazin’ Manny has begun the most intense part of his training and conditioning for his battle against undefeated WBA welterweight super champion Keith “One Time” Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs), from Clearwater, Florida.
Pacquiao and Thurman will battle in a welterweight world title attraction that headlines a PBC on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View event,Saturday, July 20, live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
And for the first time in many years, Manny, 40, and ten years Thurman’s senior, has been installed as an underdog by major sports & race books around the world.
“I haven’t made a bet in a long time, but the oddsmakers have brought me back. I’m going to make a huge score betting on Manny in this fight,” said Roach. “Manny loves beating undefeated fighters, especially the younger ones. Heck, at this stage of the game, everyone Manny faces is younger. But that makes it fun for Manny. And when Manny is having fun, his opponents had better watch out. I was very pleased with Manny’s first day at Wild Card. Buboy and Justin [Fortune] have him in great condition for the rigors of this part of training camp. We were scheduled for six rounds of sparring and Manny insisted on going eight with two sparing partners. He’s running the Hollywood Hills like a deer. Nobody has the work ethic and conditioning like Manny. I can already see we are going to have to hold him back throughout camp.
“This is a great matchup. Thurman has youth and size. I’m sure he will come into the ring with 160 pounds behind his big right hand. Manny will be under 150,” Roach continued. “But we will have speed and movement. Winning this fight will come down to taking chances. Manny proved in his last two fights, against Matthysse and Broner, that he has his killer instinct back. Thurman better be prepared to shoot the works.”
Pacquiao to begin phase two of training camp
MANNY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN! Senator Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs), the Philippines’ national treasure and boxing’s only eight-division world champion, returns to Freddie Roach’s Hollywood-based Wild Card Boxing Club to begin phase two of his training camp in preparation for his rumble with undefeated WBA welterweight super champion Keith “One Time” Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs), from Clearwater, Florida — his third world championship fight in the past 12 months.
Beating Thurman will give Manny another huge win at 147
What a whirlwind journey it has been for the Amazin’ Manny over the past 11 months. It started out with him knocking out defending WBA welterweight world champion Lucas Matthysse in the seventh round of their July 15, 2018 bout, which took place at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia.
Pacquiao returned to the ring, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, on January 19, and blitzed former four-division world champion Adrien Broner. And next month, at age 40 1/2, he will look to complete his world welterweight championship hat trick against Thurman. And in between? There has been no down time for Manny.
He maintains a schedule that keeps the international icon thriving. Manny traveled to the United Kingdom at the invitations of the prestigious Oxford Union and Cambridge Union to speak about his life and answer questions from the student members on consecutive days. Then it was back to the Philippines and his duties as a Senator.
Manny working hard!
Up until last week’s Senate recess, it was 14 to 16-hour days divided into two-part rigorous training sessions and a full work day dedicated to his senatorial duties. Once the Philippine Senate session ended, on June 7, Team Pacquiao returned home to General Santos City to focus on training
>Pacquiao wants to prove age is just a number
“At age forty I want to prove I can still beat an undefeated champion,” said Manny. “I like being an underdog in this fight. It is nothing new and it is fun. I have been an underdog my entire life. Keith Thurman does not scare me. Keith Thurman does not intimidate me. Keith Thurman has inspired me. I am training harder than ever. This is the biggest test of my career. It is a story that is forty years in the making.”
Now it’s off to Hollywood, California and his second home, Wild Card Boxing Club, where Manny will endure the most intensive part of his training in preparation for his title fight against Thurman. Holidays will be work days for this training camp. Manny plans to hold off on celebrating July 4. He will set off his fireworks when he steps into the ring with Thurman.
Caleb Plant vs. Mike Lee
Pacquiao and Thurman will battle in a welterweight world title attraction that headlines a PBC on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View event beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
In a battle of unbeatens, IBF super middleweight world champion Caleb “Sweethands” Plant (28-0, 10 KOs), from Nashville, will make the first defense of his title against the pride of the University of Notre Dame Mike Lee (21-0, 11 KOs), from Chicago, in the main event of FOX PBC Fight Night and on FOX Deportes preceding the Pay-Per-View and beginning at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.
The respective world championship showdowns will take place on Saturday, July 20 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.