Team Pacquiao arrives in Vegas


LAS VEGAS, Nevada—Team Pacquiao arrived in this Sin City in the middle of the Nevada desert on Monday (Tuesday in Manila) six days ahead of the sitting Philippine senator’s world title fight against title holder Yordenis Ugás of Cuba.

Pacquiao’s family—wife Jinkee, son Israel, daughters Mary Divine Grace and Queen Elizabeth—joined him on board a Lincoln Navigator SUV for Las Vegas. His two other sons, Jimwell and Michael, convoyed in a separate vehicle.

Pacquiao’s mom, Dionisia, couldn’t travel to the US because of Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.

There was little fanfare upon his arrival at 5 p.m. at the MGM Grand as security was strict because of health protocols. TGB Promotions scheduled a Main Event Grand Arrival for the two fighters at the Toshiba Plaza on Tuesday afternoon.

Pacquiao, who aims to be the eldest welterweight world champion anew at 42, slipped in a jogging routine around his residence at the Plymouth Boulevard up to the Observatory at the Griffith Park in Los Angeles before heading to the Wild Card Gym for a brief workout with the mitts, speed ball, punching bag, heavy bag and the double end before heading for Las Vegas.

“All the coaching staff are very happy, Freddie [Roach] is also happy because my timing is there—and it really feels so good,” Pacquiao said. “My condition is great and we’re able to adjust quickly in training.”

Head trainer and coach Buboy Fernandez and long-time assistants Jonathan Peñalosa and Nonoy Neri cooked up Pacquiao’s preparation for the fight that stages Ugás’s World Boxing Association welterweight crown that was taken away from the senator because of failing to fight for more than a year since winning the belt in July 2019.

World renowned trainer Freddie Roach and his assistant Marvin Somodio remained as Team Pacquiao’s consultants.

On Wednesday, the fight week activity begins with the virtual Fox Zoom Fighter Talent Meetings with Ugás appearing first from 8 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. and Pacquiao taking his turn from 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. The undercards, including Filipino featherweights Mark Magsayo and John Dato, will also be featured in the activity.

The formal final news conference will also be held at the MGM Grand Arena at 2 p.m.

Image courtesy of Jay Oh Thomas

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