Manny Pacquiao evidently hit the ground running in his first day of training for his fight against Errol Spence July 20 in Las Vegas.
The welterweight titleholder arrived today at his gym-away-from-home Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif., a day after leaving his home in the Philippines. And, according to longtime trainer Freddie Roach, he arrived in shape.
He began the day with a five-mile run and 1,000 sit-ups before an afternoon session at the iconic gym, according to a news release. He then worked out for nearly three hours, with nine rounds on the mitts.
Roach was impressed.
“If this is how Manny hits with jet lag, I may need to get new gloves with thicker padding for our next sessions,” Roach said. “He was incredible sharp for his first day. He hit hard with good power. After all these years, I’m still amazed at the great condition he’s in when he comes to training camp. After traveling around the world yesterday, he put in a full day here – mitts, speed bag, shadow boxing – the works.
“The best part was at the end when he lifted his shirt to show me his six pack and said, ‘Freddie, I’m still here.’”
Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) knows the challenges he faces against Spence (27-0, 21 KOs).
Spence, ranked No. 4 on Boxing Junkie’s pound-for-pound list, is 31 years old and his prime. No. 15 Pacquiao is coming off a sensational victory over Keith Thurman but that fight took place more than two years ago and he’s 42.
Spence is about a 2½-1 favorite in the fight.
“Errol Spence is a very difficult fight for me, perhaps the most difficult of my career,” Pacquiao said. “But I have been an underdog my whole life. I am used to that. It is why I work so hard. But the love and the prayers of my fellow Philippine citizens and Filipinos around the world sustain and inspire me.
“I fight for the glory of my nation and for underdogs everywhere.”