Trainer Buboy Fernandez wants a defensive-minded Manny Pacquiao to show up on July 2 against Australian challenger Jeff Horn in their world title fight in the 52,500 seating capacity Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
When asked what part of Pacquiao’s fight plan he’ll work on, the Filipino boxing icon’s long-time assistant trainer and friend said it would be defense.
“Aside from his speed, I want to develop and improve Manny’s defense,” Fernandez told The Manila Times in an interview after Pacquiao’s light training at the Elorde Gym in Five E-Com building in Pasay City.
“Sometimes, he puts his hands down and we can’t allow that to happen. We have to focus more on defense in every angle,” he added.
Fernandez noted Pacquiao’s aggressiveness was very evident in their first day of training, an indication that the fighting Senator wants the fight badly.
Pacquiao, 38, will work on his footwork and abdominal exercises, as well as heavy bag and speedball routines in his first week of training.
“No sign of laziness or lousiness in training. If ever I see him lazy (in training), I will ask him to stop [fighting]. But he never stops training hard and he is more focused,” said Fernandez.
Fernandez, the deputy trainer of coach Freddie Roach, said Pacquiao (59-6-2 win-loss-draw record with 38 knockouts) is definitely faster, stronger, smarter and has more stamina than Horn (16-0-1 record with 11 knockouts) but they can’t be complacent.
“In terms of experience, speed and strength, we’re ahead but we need to be more accurate and consistent going into the fight that’s why Manny trains very hard,” said Fernandez. “We want Pacquiao to be prepared when coach Freddie (Roach) arrives.”
There is no schedule yet of Roach’s arrival in Manila.