Buboy Fernandez, the head trainer and best friend of eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao, is very happy with what he sees in training camp.
Pacquiao, who is nearly 40-years-old, is preparing for a July 15th [July 14 in U.S.] showdown with WBA "regular" welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse in Malaysia.
During his recent training session, Pacquiao dropped one of his sparring partners with a solid right hand to the jaw.
According to Buboy, his fighter is near his peak and they will have him take a little easy until the fight.
Buboy replaced Pacquiao's trainer of 16 years, Freddie Roach.
“I would say he is already 85 percent ready but we don’t want him to peak too soon,” said Buboy to The Inquirer.
This is Pacquiao's first bout since July of 2017, when he lost an upset twelve round unanimous decision to Jeff Horn at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.
The boxer is placing his entire boxing future at stake in the contest, and he's taking training very seriously. He challenged himself on Monday morning by climbing the steepest route in Maasim, Sarangani province.
A familiar face in camp is strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune, who says the veteran boxer is testing his mental and physical strength to prove the doubters wrong. There are many who believe Pacquiao is past his best and better served in retirement.
“He is right there where we want him to be right now,” said Fortune.
“It’s a sign that Manny is trying to ask himself questions whether he still has it or not. That talks a lot about his warrior spirit.”
Matthysse, who is training under the tutelage of Joel Diaz, feels confident that he will score a knockout when he faces Pacquiao at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur.
The 35-year-old Matthysse is planning to arrive in Malaysia 10 days before the fight.