Pacquiao puts premium on discipline, conditioning ahead of Spence mega-bout

Published July 15, 2021, 11:19 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Manny Pacquiao has found a silver lining on his long hiatus in the boxing ring.

Manny Pacquiao (left) and Errol Spence Jr. face off during the PBC (Premier Boxing Champions) on FOX press conference in Los Angeles, California. (Photo from PBC on FOX Twitter)

The Filipino boxing legend has not fought since defeating Keith Thurman in July 2019 via split decision.

READ: Pacquiao: Spence is one of the biggest challenges in my career

But Pacquiao assured that this is not something to be bothered about and even converted it into a source of motivation ahead of his mega-bout against Errol Spence Jr., the unified WBC and IBF welterweight champion, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Aug. 21.

“I’ve been in boxing for how many years… since I was 12 years old and until now so it’s good for me that I have a layoff for two years,” said Pacquiao, the former super WBA welterweight titleholder. “So when I get back to training, I feel like hungry to focus on and dedicated to my training and make sure I’m in hundred percent condition and my drive.”

READ: Fortune says Pacquiao at 80 percent; sparring mate impressed

The 42-year-old Pacquiao, however, is aware that there are certain things needed to be considered given his age.

Pacquiao, the only eight-division world boxing champion, knows it too well for someone who’s been on the battlefield for more than two decades now since January 1995.

READ: Mamba Mentality: Pacquiao pays homage to Kobe Bryant in US training

“It’s different than how I did before,” he said. “When you’re young, when you push yourself in everyday training, you can recover overnight. But like [at] this age, you need your body for time to recover. You cannot push, push, push… Before when I was young, I am pushing and pushing to the limit.

“No, I’m not bothered about my training. I know how to handle myself and how I control and manage it. Discipline is the most important,” the fighting senator added.

READ: Errol Spence is better than Floyd Mayweather, says Pacquiao

Pacquiao, who owns a 62-7-2 record on top of 39 knockouts, got stripped of his super WBA welterweight belt last January due to his inactive while Spence, 31, is undefeated in 27 matches with 21 KOs with the latest coming from Danny Garcia last December.

READ: Pacquiao won’t be reinstated as super WBA welterweight champion – report

The two welterweight stars will dispute the vacant The Ring belt as well as Spence’s WBC and IBF titles.