Pacquiao breaks Manila camp, heads to US for final phase of training

Dino Maragay - Philstar.com
Pacquiao breaks Manila camp, heads to US for final phase of training
Manny Pacquiao pummels the heavy bag during a training session at the Elorde Gym in Pasay City.
Wendell Rupert Alinea

MANILA, Philippines — Manny Pacquiao will move his training camp from Manila to Los Angeles for the second and final phase of his preparation for his WBA welterweight title showdown with Keith Thurman next month.

Pacquiao and his entourage are set to fly to LAX Saturday evening on board Philippine Airlines Flight PR 102, and will arrive in Los Angeles around the same time the next day.

The Filipino icon has held his Manila training at the Elorde Gym inside Five-Ecom Center within the Mall of Asia complex in Pasay City. He spent the last days of his Manila camp sparring with Australian prospect Tim Tszyu.

Pacquiao will try to unify his “regular” WBA welterweight diadem with Thurman’s “super” championship on July 20 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas (July 21 Manila time). The younger

Thurman sports a perfect record of 29-0 (with 22 knockouts), something that serves as a motivation for Pacquiao 

"At age 40, I want to prove I can still beat an undefeated champion," said the fighting senator.

Pacquiao is riding the momentum of impressive wins over Lucas Matthysse — the fight that earned him the WBA strap — in July last year and Adrien Broner last January.

He knocked out Matthysse to win the title and routed Broner en route to a unanimous decision win to defend the same title. In both fights, he was favored to win.

This time though, the 30-year-old Thurman is the favorite, a fact that Pacquiao embraces.

"I like being an underdog in this fight. It is nothing new and it is fun. I have been an underdog my entire life,” said Pacquiao.

Per routine, Pacquiao’s Los Angeles training should include morning runs at either the Pan Pacific Park or Griffith Park. In the afternoon, it will be hours of hard work at Freddie Roach’s famed Wild Card Gym in Hollywood.

While Pacquiao has kept a low profile throughout the promotion as he usually does, the brash Thurman is his polar opposite. The fighter from Clearwater, Florida has been bragging about how he’s about to send Pacquiao into retirement.

During their two-city US press tour a few weeks ago, Thurman vowed to do to Pacquiao what the Filipino icon did to boxing legend Oscar Dela Hoya when they fought more than a decade ago.

Pacquiao is unperturbed.

“Keith Thurman does not scare me. Keith Thurman does not intimidate me. Keith Thurman has inspired me. I am training harder than ever,” he continued.

“This is the biggest test of my career. It is a story that is 40 years in the making," Pacquiao ended.



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