MANILA, Philippines – After concluding his training in the Philippines with an 8-round sparring session, Manny Pacquiao left for the United States on Saturday night, June 15, happy with what he has accomplished in less than a month.
Pacquiao said he was elated with the way the 3-week camp, presided over by lead trainer Buboy Fernandez and conditioning coach Justin Fortune, went at Elorde Gym near Mall of Asia.
Fact is, the 8-division world champion is looking forward to the final phase of his preparations for his World Boxing Association welterweight crown showdown with unbeaten American Keith Thurman on Saturday, July 20 (Sunday, July 21, Philippine time) at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Team Pacquiao will stay in Los Angeles, where Freddie Roach will join the coaching staff at his Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, for the next 4 weeks.
Like Pacquiao, Fernandez – the newly elected vice mayor of Polangui, Albay – believes training went smoothly and on time with the conducive atmosphere.
"We’ll just continue what we started," Fernandez said in Filipino. "We’re all very happy with the focus and determination the Senator (Pacquiao) showed throughout."
Based on what he saw when Pacquiao sparred with Filipino Jestoni Autida and unbeaten French Jaber Ziyane for 4 rounds each, Fernandez said the 12-time world champion is "80%" ready for the pay-per-view unification title duel. Also in the sparring rotation was unbeaten Australian Tim Tszyu.
International matchmaker Sean Gibbons, who heads MP Promotions, said Pacquiao is ready for the “final push” of training camp.
Gibbons bared Arnold Gonzalez, who helped Pacquiao prepare for Adrien Broner, will be back as sparring partner. Gonzalez will be joined by Abraham Lopez and Tomas Rojas.
"We’ll see what happens from there," said Gibbons, who believes Pacquiao is in terrific shape and will be able to stop Thurman in the 10th round. – Rappler.com