MANILA, Philippines – Buboy Fernandez stooped and grimaced in pain when Manny Pacquiao caught him with a body shot. It was just a light straight, but it brought pulsating pain.
Truth was, Fernandez, already tired and battered, wanted to end the mitts session on Friday afternoon, May 31, at 5 rounds. Pacquiao, however, asked for one more and the head trainer grudgingly obliged.
When it was over, the vice mayor-elect of Polangui, Albay, headed to a corner where he told a sportswriter “masakit (painful),” referring to his portly belly.
Of course, his palms also hurt, but Fernandez, since taking over as chief trainer for Pacquiao’s fight with Lucas Matthysse last year, has gotten used to it. His hands no longer quiver and the pain doesn’t shoot up to his spine.
Fernandez relishes Pacquiao’s renewed fury and intensity as the eight-division world champion finished his first week of training at Elorde Gym near Mall of Asia for his World Boxing Association welterweight title duel with unbeaten American Keith Thurman (29-0, 22 knockouts) on Saturday, July 20 (Sunday, July 21, Philippine time) at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“Manny rarely badmouths an opponent,” said Fernandez in Filipino, “but he refers to Thurman as “hambog (braggart) and mayabang (arrogant)" because of the personal insults the 147-pound super champion hurled against him during the New York and Las Vegas press tour last week.
“The last time I saw him act this way was in (Erik) Morales 3,” said Fernandez. The 2006 fight saw Pacquiao knock down the Mexican great 3 times in the 3rd round en route to stoppage.
Fernandez envisions the fight with Thurman to go the same way.
If Pacquiao finds the opening, Fernandez said he won’t dissuade him from boring through Thurman’s defenses.
“Kung gusto niyang sagasaan, sagasaan niya. Hindi ko pipigilan," he said. “Gagawin natin lahat basta ingat lang."
(If he wants to run him over, then I’ll let him do it. We’ll do everything, but with caution.) – Rappler.com