Manny Pacquiao's Crucial Stage of Training Begins

Boxing: Pacquiao vs Broner
Jan 19, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Manny Pacquiao (black trunks) and Adrien Broner (purple/gold trunks) box during a WBA welterweight world title boxing match at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Pacquiao won via unanimous decision. (Photo: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)

WBA regular welterweight champ Manny Pacquiao will be approaching the most crucial state of his training for his upcoming fight with undefeated WBA special titlist Keith Thurman starting today. He is currently training at the Elorde Boxing Gym inside the Mall of Asia compound in Pasay City, Philippines. 

Pacquiao (67-7-2 win-loss-draw with 39 KOs) and Thurman (29-0 with 22 KOs) will battle it out in deciding who between them remains as the sole owner of the 147-pound belt on July 20 at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas. 

"The next six days starting on Monday until Saturday will still be relatively light workouts both inside the gym and on the road until Manny and the team leave for Los Angeles on June 15 for the more rigid and crucial leg of the build up program," Pacquiao's Australian strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune told the Manila Times. 

According to Fortune, who assists chief trainer Buboy Fernandez chart Pacman's preparedness scheme, this week is the turning point in which the eight-division champ's training team will decide their next moves. The team is set to fly to LA and work with training consultant Freddie Roach.  

Both Fernandez and Fortune described the first three weeks of preparations, since pitching camp last May 25 as "pretty good." 

"No problem, really. First we removed the rust brought about by almost five weeks of boxing activities since Manny Last fought last January," Fernandez said. 

In the interview, Fortune revealed that Pacquiao had complained of a minor strained Achilles tendon in one of his legs, which apparently, he got from playing basketball.  

But all is well for the fighter, who remedied the minor injury himself. As we've been saying, Manny knows," Fortune said.  

The Filipino fighter has been sparring since last week, and for the past three days, he has logged 15 rounds so far. He started the sparring sessions with four before the training team raised this quite abruptly to five on Thursday then six on Saturday. 

Pacquiao's training team also included plyometric exercises to increase muscle strength and stamina into the program, which started when Fortune arrived in the Philippines.  

Fortune said that if Pacquiao's body responds well, they will push through with the program. The plan, according to the conditioning coach, is to get Manny to increase his sparring frequency to eight rounds.  

The team will fly to LA on June 15. 

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