by Nick Giongco
Just three weeks before he heads off to battle in Las Vegas, Manny Pacquiao is not only right on track in his training.
The Filipino legend is already on-point, meaning he is days away from reaching the condition that his handlers want him to achieve as the July 20 clash with Keith Thurman at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas is fast approaching.
Last Thursday, Pacquiao, 40, went ten rounds of sparring as he gave his training team another reason to smile.
Pacquiao arrived in the US on June 15 and immediately buckled down to work, knowing that he will be up against a fresher and undefeated foe to deal with on fight night.
Thurman, 30, is likewise in deep training under Dan Birmingham, a trainer known to specialize in dealing with left-handers like Pacquiao.
Holed out in St. Petersburg in Florida since early-May, Thurman is being attended to by a team of strength and conditioning people, some of them with close ties with the National Football League.
The slight favorite against the eight-division champion, Thurman doesn’t mind the underdog tag, confident that he will prove his detractors wrong.
“I will be the one to retire him,” said Thurman.
This coming week, Pacquiao will likely step up a bit more in sparring by asking that he be allowed to go 12 rounds.
If he gets his wish, Pacquiao will then be told to begin slowing down to avoid burnout, something that will be costly.
But knowing Pacquiao, who has been a professional since 1995, making that happen won’t be a problem.