Philippine arts

Pacquiao: ‘I’ll make Thurman eat his words’

Roy Luarca
Pacquiao: ‘I’ll make Thurman eat his words’
Manny Pacquiao grinds it out in training as he is motivated to knock out Keith Thurman

MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao wants to make Keith Thurman pay for the American’s brash words during their New York and Los Angeles press tour last week.

Ipapakain ko sa kanya ang mga salita niya (I’ll make him eat his words),” Pacquiao said in an interview on his way to the Senate after a workout.

That can be seen in his usual intense training

The way he’s been pounding the heavy bags the past 4 days, however, is somewhat different. Pacquiao is on beast mode.

Throwing as many as 20 punches nonstop, Pacquiao looks determined to knock out Thurman when they tangle for the World Boxing Association welterweight crown on Saturday, July 20 (Sunday, July 21, Philippine time) at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Assistant trainer Nonoy Neri, who supervised the early phase of Pacquiao’s preparations, noticed and felt it whenever they did the mitts at Elorde Gym near the Mall of Asia.

Speed, lakas (strength), walang pinagbago (nothing’s changed),” said Neri, who admitted being hurt by Pacquiao’s hard punches, the pain emanating from the hands to the body. “Kondisyon siya (He’s in condition).”

According to Neri, Pacquiao on Tuesday, May 28, did 7 rounds of mitts with him, spent 6 rounds shadowboxing, banged the heavy bags for 3 rounds, hit the speed ball for 3 rounds, skipped rope for 6 minutes before closing the session with 400 sit-ups.

On Monday night, he played basketball for 3 rounds.

Also intently watching were strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune – who flew in from Los Angeles on Sunday, May 26 – and assistant trainer Haplas Fernandez.

Head trainer Buboy Fernandez got ill and took his oath of office as newly elected vice mayor of Polangui, Albay, on Monday. He’s scheduled to return Wednesday, May 29. 

Neri bared that Pacquiao and his training team will leave on June 15 for Los Angeles, where he will complete training camp at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym in Hollywood.

“He seems to be inspired and very motivated,” said Neri, noting that Thurman brought the old fire out of Pacquiao through his repeated boasts of sending Pacquiao into retirement by knockout. (READ: Pacquiao likes underdog label vs Thurman) –

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