By Ponciano "John" Melo Jr.
Nineteen days before the most awaited, big fight of the eight-division world champion Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao, the Pambansang Kamao takes his time in training – sparring, practice boxing, and jogging – to defeat the undefeated Keith "One Time" Thurman in their upcoming bout on July 20, 2019, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In an exclusive interview with the 40-year-old boxer, the Manila Standard visited the Team Pacquiao to know his present condition and the training he is undergoing in preparations for the upcoming bout.
On his interview with Pacquiao's brother-in-law, who is also his part-time bodyguard, Romeo Faldas, said: "'Pag nasa Pacific kami, nag-iikot siya mga tatlong ikot then mag-stretching na po 'yan. Mahirap siyang sabayan kasi ang bilis niya, sobrang bilis niya ngayon. Kaya ang ginagawa namin, from doon sa bahay niya sa Beverly Hills, ako nag-co-convoy lang ako. Kasi kapag sinabayan mo si Manny, mauubusan ka talaga ng hangin."
"So, kami as bodyguards, nagco-convoy na lang kami. Ang kasama naman ni Manny na nagjo-jogging sa kaniya is 'yung sila Bobby Pacquiao tsaka 'yung ibang mga boxer. At tsaka 'yung isang Japanese boxer na babae," he added.
The eight – division world champion shows the perseverance in every training that he has undergone but with the upcoming fight with Thurman, he is practicing harder than the usual.
"Mahirap sabayan si Manny, unless you are a boxer, kaya mo siyang sabayan," said Faldas.
When asked about the speed and strength he is showing on his training, Faldas said that Pacquiao showed that he is now stronger and faster than before. If he is faster and stronger than before, he shows more agressive as of the moment.
Sa lahat ng training ni Manny, mas super sa condition, mas super malakas si Manny ngayon. Kahit kami nga nagtataka kami ngayon, bakit ganu'n kalakas si Manny, tsaka ganu'n 'yung speed niya, ibang-iba. Kaya super amazed kami sa training niya ngayon," shared Faldas.
Faldas also agreed to the observation of Pacquiao's head coach, Freddie Roach, regarding the boxer's performance in training.
"I don't know, tama 'yung si sinabi ni Freddie Roach, mas aggressive tsaka super ang lakas," he added.
Ponciano Melo writes his first contributing article to Manila Standard Digital about Manny Pacquiao's upcoming fight against Keith Thurman. Melo is a freelance sports writer based in California, USA and has covered the NBA Finals, Boxing mat