Manny Pacquiao is 40 years old but his workout regimen in the lead-up to his title fight against Keith Thurman remains out of this world.
The two welterweights face off in Las Vegas on Sunday (AEST), with Thurman putting his World Boxing Association welterweight crown on the line against the Filipino legend.
Thurman, 30, has relentlessly fanned the flames for the contest by stating he plans to send Pacquiao into retirement.
When you look at what Pacquiao’s training camp consists of, though, it’s hard to imagine retirement is on the horizon.
Pacquiao’s camp was described at length in a profile by Yahoo! Lifestyle’s Manouk Akopyan, with the welterweight training six days per week; three of those being double sessions.
In between those sessions, he spars twice a week, with his trainer Freddie Roach telling the website that Pacquiao is training the hardest he has in his life.
“His work ethic is great, and he’s training harder today than he ever did,” Roach said. “That’s why he’s at this level. He knows how to get in shape. Without boxing, all of this is gone.”
There’s one part of Pacquiao’s workout that sounds like the stuff of legends, with the fighter making sure to complete at least a thousand sit-ups a day. The reason: a loss he had in 1999, where he was downed by a body shot. From that moment on, Pacquiao vowed never to let a punch to the gut be his demise in a bout.
Then, during the off-season, when Pacquiao isn’t in camp for a fight, he makes sure to stay in shape by playing at least four hours of basketball a day.
“At 40, your supposed to be slow and lazy. For him, it’s a big difference. He’s still fast and strong as ever because of his motivation,” said Buboy Fernandez, Pacquiao‘s lead trainer. “He told me one time, ‘I want to stop, but I can’t because my body wants it.’ He’s a training addict.”
Speaking at his training camp in Florida on Wednesday, the hard-hitting Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs) confidently predicted a quick knockout over Pacquiao.
“My prediction? Less than six rounds,” Thurman said. “I would love to be 30-0 with 23 knockouts.
“We’ve got 22 and we’ve held those 22 knockouts for a little too long. It’s time to get one more knockout.”
Roach, however, believes Pacquiao’s superior conditioning and handspeed will give him an advantage as the fight goes on.
“Thurman starts quickly but he usually fades,” Roach said. “I like Pacquiao in the later rounds because that’s where he usually excels. I don’t like making predictions but I don’t see this one going the distance.”