Regardless of his age, or the breadth of his ever-increasing political responsibilities, the Philippines’ fighting Senator Manny Pacquiao, has resolved to spend as much of his life as he can on the boxing ring, fighting as the embodiment of Filipino pride. That brings to mind his upcoming fight with American contender Keith Thurman, whom Pacquiao has now met face to face during the fight primer shown recently on Fox. While the undefeated Thurman has spent his mike time in between training talking about him becoming the one fighter to permanently retire the Pac-Man, Manny has opted to stay silent and have his opponent do all the promotion with his snark.
Inquirer.net reports that during the “Premier Boxing Champions” fight primer on the Pacquiao vs. Thurman match shown on Fox, Manny Pacquiao pretty much ceded the floor to Keith Thurman for much of the event, letting him run his mouth off with threats to end the Pac-Man’s pro boxing career with an unrecoverable ring injury, and his taunts egging the Filipino pride to confirm his social security insurance plan. To that last barb from the American, Pacquiao only shot back, “I’m not a talker, I let my action do the talking.”
His supreme confidence is not without a solid foundation. According to Pacquiao’s physical fitness coach Justin Fortune, in optimal conditions the Fighting Senator can not only breeze through the fight with Thurman, but also make enough time to train for a second boxing match before the year is out, on December. Such a feat could earn Manny another Fighter of the Year commendation, which would make his career fourth. So far, the Pac-Man has devoted two times of every day to physical training in Los Angeles, ranging from jogging runs to rounds of sparring at Freddie Roach’s Wild Car Gym.
On the other corner, Keith Thurman is also prepping for his encounter with the world’s only eight-time division champion with training at his home state of Florida, at the coastal city of St. Petersburg. He does have a zero-loss record of 29 fights with 22 knockouts to his name. But his trash talk is already stirring the Manny Pacquiao fandom. A post on Instagram guarantees that he would make the Pac-Man respect him with his very first punch. Filipinos can count on the Fighting Senator to keep his cool though. In the primer he said he lets Thurman do all the selling their match needs.
The Pacquiao-Thurman fight for the WBA Super welterweight title and will take place Saturday evening of July 20 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas (morning of July 21 in the Philippines). Manny’s head trainer Buboy Fernandez notes that as of the primer, the Filipino “Pambansang Kamao” is “90% ready.”
Image: Round by Round Boxing