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Manny Pacquiao Begins Final Phase of Training at Wildcard Gym; Bob Arum Worried Keith Thurman Will Hurt Pacman in Fight
Manny Pacquiao is challenging Keith Thurman and hoping to snatch away his Super Welterweight World Championship belt when they fight on July 22 at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacman currently holds the Regular Welterweight World Champion belt and winning against the American boxer will make him a nine-division world boxing champ in the WBA.
To win over Thurman, Pacquiao flew to Los Angeles earlier than planned to continue his training at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym. ABS-CBN News reported that the Filipino boxer would begin his intense routine as the last phase of the training.
Pacman’s opponent is undefeated with 29 wins and 22 knockouts while his record is 61-7-2 with 39 knockouts. Prior to flying to Los Angeles, he spurred with foreign boxing champs that include Austalia’s Tim Tszyu and France’s Jaber Zayani. Tszyu believes that Pacquiao is powerful enough to defeat Thurman.
Meanwhile, Bob Arum, Manny Pacquiao’s former promoter, expressed worry on Pacman’s upcoming fight with a younger opponent. He said that the risk of brain damage is now greater for older boxers like Manny.
In his interview with Fight Hub TV, Arum explained that Pacquiao can suffer from brain damage in his fight with Thurman because the former has thinner cranium now that he is in his 40s. He said that younger fighters could absorb the headshots, so their brain matter is not affected by the blows, but this is not the case with the older ones.
“I hope he wins the fight but I am concerned, as I would be for any fighter, that when they get to a certain age that they probably should not be fighting anymore, the Top Rank exec said. “I’m really rooting for Manny Pacquiao. But you’ve gotta realize, he’s 41 years of age.”
Arum stressed that the brain damage is the worst thing that can happen to Pacquaio in his upcoming fight with Keith Thurman so he must be quick to dodge the blows to the head. The 87-year-old Top Rank CEO also cited a few boxers who ended up with similar damage to prove his point.
Manny Pacquiao responded that there is nothing to worry about, as he believes that God will protect him. “God is good all the time,” he told the Manila Times. “That’s boxing but God is always there to protect me and there’s nothing to worry about.”