MANNY IS BACK! Senator Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs), the Philippines’ national treasure and boxing’s only eight-division world champion, returns for his first U.S.-based training camp in over two years on Saturday.
The Pacman Express is scheduled to deliver the reigning WBA welterweight world champion and his team to LAX’s Tom Bradley International Terminal at 6:15 p.m. PT via Philippine Airlines flight PR 102.
What a whirlwind journey it has been for the Amazin’ Manny. After knocking out defending WBA welterweight world champion Lucas Matthyssee in the seventh round of their July 15 bout which took place at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia, there has been no down time for Manny, a schedule that keeps the international icon thriving.
Manny has traveled to the United Kingdom at the invitations of the prestigious Oxford Union and Cambridge Union to speak about his life and answer questions from the student members on consecutive days.
He embarked on a coast-to-coast U.S. media tour to announce his title defense against four-division world champion Adrien “The Problem” Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs), from Cincinnati, followed by an immediate flight back to Manila where he gave a speech to the plenary to further push his Senate Bill 1599 seeking to raise the excise tax on tobacco products.
Then it was 14 to 16-hour days divided into two-part rigorous training sessions and a full work day dedicated to his senatorial duties. Once the Philippine Senate session ended on December 12, Team Pacquiao returned home to General Santos City to focus on training — with one exception — his 40th birthday celebration.
He began his birthday celebration one day early, as he has traditionally done, by donating and handing out 2,000 bags of groceries to residents of Barangay Tinoto in Maasim, Sarangani.
The following day, it was a gala celebration that filled the KCC Convention Center. Friends, family, celebrities and government dignitaries of the highest order, including President Duterte, joined together to wish Manny a happy 40th birthday But typical of Manny, he was the one who was giving the gifts, which included the raffling of major prizes, featuring four automobiles, 58 motorcycles, and two dozen large screen LED televisions.
“Life begins at 40,” exclaimed Manny at his gala. “Physically, I still feel like I am 25, but with the benefit of the wisdom that comes from the added years of my life experience. I still have a lot I want to accomplish as an athlete, a public servant, and a father, husband and son. I look forward to adding more chapters to my life story.”
Now it’s off to Hollywood, California and his second home, Wild Card Boxing Club, where Manny will endure the most intensive part of his training in preparation for his title defense against Broner. Holidays will be work days for this training camp, which will begin on Christmas Eve. Manny and his team have taken a vow to leave no stone unturned as they prepare for the battle with Broner.