Pacquiao's arrival in Los Angeles delayed after flight gets diverted

What was supposed to be a smooth direct flight to Los Angeles turned out to be a circuitous route for Manny Pacquiao.

Accompanied by his training team, Pacquiao left Manila Saturday night, July 3. They were supposed to arrive at the Tom Bradley International Terminal the same day but their plane got diverted to Japan following a medical emergency.

Team Pacquiao and the other passengers stayed at the Haneda Airport for about three hours before being flown back to Manila for a change of crew.

They boarded the plane again on Sunday afternoon and are en route to the United States where the eight-division world champion will be doing the final phase of his preparations for Errol Spence at Wild Card Gym in Hollywood.

So instead of having a full rest on Sunday, Pacquiao will have to shake off jet lag and train with Freddie Roach and strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune on Monday, July 5 (Tuesday, July 6, Philippine time).

With the emergence of COVID-19 variants, Pacquiao's training at Wild Card is likely to be held behind closed doors while his morning runs at either Pan Pacific or Griffith Park will be subject to strict crowd control.

Pacquiao aims to further enhance his ring legacy by challenging the unbeaten Spence (27-0, 21 knockouts) for the World Boxing Council and International Boxing Federation welterweight crowns on August 21 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Already 42 years old and out of action since he bested the then-unbeaten Keith Thurman for the World Boxing Association super welterweight crown on July 20, 2019, Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 knockouts) is tagged the underdog against the 31-year-old Spence, who holds a 4-inch height and 5-inch reach advantage over Pacquiao.

The first phase of Pacquiao's training, mainly for physical conditioning and shaking off ring rust, was held in General Santos City under the supervision of Buboy Fernandez assisted by Nonoy Neri, Jonathan Penalosa, and Haplas Fernandez. –