‘Pambansang Kamao’ Manny Pacquiao is still strong at 42. 

That’s what long-time collaborator and coach Freddie Roach had to say about the fighter-turned-politician when his training program officially started in the United States.

Immediately after arriving at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Los Angeles, Pacquiao underwent a serious afternoon training session with Roach – still ‘jet-lagged’ and all. 

Roach noted that Pacquiao is still as explosive as he was when he was at his prime.

“If this is how Manny hits with jet lag, I may need to get new gloves with thicker padding for our next sessions,” said Roach.

“He was incredibly 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,” he shared after nine rounds on the mitts with Pacquiao. 

The 61-year-old coach, who’s been with the boxing champ since 2001, also praised Pacquiao for his continued dedication and self-discipline. 

“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,'” Roach remarked.

Pacquiao, an eight-division world champion, is currently undergoing an intense regimen in preparation for his comeback fight on August 21 against American fighter Errol Spence Jr.

According to him, his clash against the younger opponent will probably be the most difficult fight of his career. However, ‘PacMan’ said he’s working hard to snatch a win for his home country once again. 

“Errol Spence is a very difficult fight for me; perhaps the most difficult of my career,” Pacquiao admitted.

“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 our nation and for underdogs everywhere.”

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Image credit: Manny Pacquiao’s Official Facebook Page