By: Sean Crose
You know fight time is fast approaching when Manny Pacquiao arrives in Los Angeles to begin camp with trainer Freddy Roach. Although his practice is to start preparing for a fight in his Filipino homeland, Pacquiao can usually be found heading to sunny California in the six to eight weeks before the sound of the opening bell in order to begin intensive training . And so, on Monday, journalists and passerby could catch the familiar sight of the fighter and his entourage doing roadwork in an LA area park. It’s a scene that’s played out countless times over the years, whenever Pacquiao is in town to ready himself for a bout.
This particular bout, however, will be one of note, for Pacquiao will be facing none other than welterweight kingpin Erroll Spence in Las Vegas on August 21st. This would be an interesting fight in any era. With Pacquiao not getting any younger, however, the impending battle has a genuine element of intrigue about it. This is mainly because Pacquiao shocked a lot of people in his last fight, a 2019 victory over young gun titlist Keith Thurman. If the man looked so good at 42, whose to say he won’t look terrific at 44?
Of course, team Spence is fully aware of what they’re up against and are determined to make this fight a changing of the guard rather than another ground shaking upset. A large welterweight southpaw with steely resolve and incredible body work, Spence is rightly expected by many to best this older version of Pacquiao in August. It’s safe to say at this point, however, that no one would be surprised if Pacquiao somehow managed to pull off another major win. Which, perhaps is why this fight is such a big deal. Pacquiao isn’t an old man reaching for past glory – he’s a top level fighter preparing to prove once again that he still has what it takes to sit atop the heap.
Needless to say, Pacquiao appeared lean and fit as he ran through the park with his team on Monday. There was no heavy breathing, no lack of fluidity. Tossing off punches while shadowboxing, the fighter known as PacMan showed that the speed is still there, as it seems, is the determination. Training camps aren’t only essential for fighters – they’re good things for serious fans to pay attention to, as well. Boxing, after all, is often mastered in preparation as much as it is in performance.