Pacquiao looking to make it a short night against Thurman
HOLLYWOOD—Manny Pacquiao’s relentless attacks against Oscar dela Hoya, and his accurate counterpunching against Ricky Hatton are what the eight-division champ hopes to bring against Keith Thurman to make it a short night.
“We’re going home early on fight night,” said Pacquiao’s chief trainer, Buboy Fernandez, in Filipino.
Even by the loose, open-book standard of the Pacquiao camp, Fernandez was being too generous in laying out his entire fight plan for the July 21 WBA unifying welterweight title at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“If a 7.1-[magnitude] earthquake rocked LA, then we’ll bring the earthquake to Las Vegas, but a 10.5 magnitude,” he said.
But, cautioned Fernandez, they will have to watch out for Thurman’s big punch.
“May halibas ’yun (he can throw a haymaker),” he added.
Pacquiao punished the mitts and pummeled the heavy bag with an extra oomph on Wednesday as they opened the camp to media at Wild Card Gym.
“I always try to push myself and punish myself in training. That’s the key to my career. It leads to everything I can do. My speed, power and footwork all come together from my hard work,” Pacquiao said.
But his top cornermen were concerned about burning himself out, or worse, hurting himself from too much exertion.
Fernandez, who is also his boyhood buddy, said Pacquiao need not overcompensate for being a 40-year-old boxer.
“I told him I would be the first person to notice if he’s slowed down. If he has lost strength. Because I’m the one who takes his punches in training,” Fernandez said.
Fernandez said Pacquiao still trains with the same intensity as 10 years ago, only this time they get to have more days-off.
“And when that happens, I will be honest to him,” added Fernandez, who is also the newly elected vice mayor of Polangui, Albay.
“He’s in top shape already, sometimes we need to tell him to slow down,” assistant trainer Nonoy Neri said in Filipino.
Still, Pacquiao said: “When you work hard in the gym, you can do what you want to do in the ring. It makes it easy and that’s our goal here in camp.”
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