LOS ANGELES: “I have always been a warrior all my life and on July 20, I’ll, again, be a warrior.”
Thus declared Filipino WBA regular welterweight belt-owner Manny Pacquiao on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) during his open media day at his Wild Card training camp here.
“I’ll show Keith Turman what it’s like to be in the ring with me,” he said in reference to the WBA ‘super’ champion, whom he will be dating on July 20 (July 21 in Manila).
The 12-round collision set at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas is designed to decide who between them is the real 147-pound titleholder.
“As I’ve been saying, I’m the kind of fighter that doesn’t talk too much. I do my talking in the ring where, for the past 24 years, I’ve proven my worth as a fighter,” the only man to win 12 world championships in eight-weight division, asserted.
“I respect Thurman as a fighter, but I would like him to respect me as a human being,” the now 40-year-old Philippine Senator, the only man, to have done the feat, said.
Pacquiao said he has been in deep training since pitching camp in Manila last May 25 as he expressed belief he and his training team has done “our best to put me in shape for the fight and give the fans the fight they want.”
The training camp, he assured, has been very good and, in fact, as early as three weeks ago, he pronounced himself ready to fight with still a month or so before climbing the ring.
The Pambansang Kamao (national fist) thanked Thurman, though, known also as “One Time” for his trash-talking, which he added, served as added motivation to prepare hard as well as helped sell the fight.
“Boxing is about throwing punches, not who has the bigger body. My speed and power will speak for itself. He (Thurman) might have been underestimating me now, but he’ll talk differently once he’s in the ring with me.
“I always feel like I have the ability to beat any fighter out there. I’m still in this sport and I’m planning on a lot more memorable victories. It’s going to be another page of in my story come Saturday, July 20,” he remarked.
Chief trainer Buboy Fernandez, for his part, said the training team had studied Thurman’s style even before the camp started and added, “I think we have his numbers.“
Pacquiao’s training team also includes training consultant Freddie Roach, strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune and assistant trainers Marvin Somodio, Nonoy Neri and Roger Fernandez
“Manny still has the speed and the power. This is going to be a great fight,” he assured. “ Manny wants to fight toe-to-toe and show the whole world that he can still fight.”
Fortune asserted the fear expressed earlier that the 2001-2009 Fighter of the Year might have been affected by Thurman’s bad-mouthing has no basis.
“Manny’s mental toughness is still intact. His confidence is solid and he’s more determined now as ever to win this fight. Manny likes this fight,” Fortune said.
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