Senator Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) 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.
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. He 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.
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
“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.