‘Accomplished’ Pacman now in Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS—Manny Pacquiao arrived here at dusk on Monday just when this city began to light up.
Once again he will headline Saturday evening (Sunday in Manila) along with the likes of Sin City regulars David Copperfield and Barry Manilow. Their faces were among those adorning the giant marquees on gleaming buildings around the strip.
“I just want to keep my name at the top of boxing and continue my career. I already accomplished what I want to accomplish in boxing,” said Pacquiao before hitting the road from Los Angeles.
It is clear that the 40-year-old boxing megastar—and a senator of the republic back home—knows very well that he is on an extended run of a blockbuster career.
This time around, it’s the brash, unbeaten Keith Thurman who hopes to be the perfect foil when they clash for the WBA welterweight crown at MGM Grand here.
Both protagonists are already here, though the “Grand Arrivals” show is set for Tuesday afternoon at the hotel’s vast lobby.
“I’m continuing my career because boxing is my passion. I [still] have lots to do in [boxing], especially because God gave me these blessings and favors—good health, speed and power.”
For Pacquiao, it’s all about giving the fans what they want: an all-out performance every single fight.
Promoter Premier Boxing Champions reported a brisk sale of tickets, and early predictions point to more pay-per-view interest compared to his fight last January against Adrien Broner, which netted a decent 400,000 buys.
“In balancing my body conditioning, my mind, and how I work hard, it depends on how I focus and work hard in training. Right now, I still hunger [for fights] and I’m still enjoying this and happy to do training preparation for the fight,” said Pacquiao.
Before setting off to this city baked by summer sun and hot desert winds, Pacquiao still squeezed in four rounds of sparring with AB Lopez and did mitts with chief trainer Buboy Fernandez in Los Angeles.
Inside the ring at Wild Card’s basement gym, Pacquiao rehearsed a particular nine-punch combo with Fernandez.
Pacquiao threw seven punches in blinding speed. Then, very quickly, he bounced to Fernandez’s left and threw two more power punches.
“Ganda! (beautiful),” Pacquiao exclaimed after the well-executed sequence, pointing at the ceiling as the crowd applauded.
His conditioning coach, Justin Fortune, said he’s up for a short morning jog at University of Nevada Las Vegas and a few rounds in mitts at Bones Adams Gym at lunchtime on Tuesday before the ceremony at the lobby.
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