LAS VEGAS. It will always be the MGM Grand for Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Pacquiao.
In his first fight in the U.S. since 2016, Pacquiao will enter the ring at the Garden Arena of Las Vegas’ MGM Grand, where he fought his first professional fight in the U.S.
“It’s nice to be back home,” Pacquiao told journalists at a press conference Wednesday (January 16).
It was his second day in Sin City following his arrival Monday for his January 19 fight with American boxer Adrien Broner.
In a press conference, Pacquiao recalls the date of his first professional in the U.S.
It was January 23, 2001, when he knocked out Lehlo Ledwaba, winning the IBF junior featherweight title.
“MGM is my first in America,” Pacquiao said.
On Saturday (January 19), Pacquiao will be defending his WBA welterweight title.
Pacquiao last fought in 2018, snatching the WBA welterweight title from Lucas Matthyse.
Pacquiao’s conditioning coach Justin Fortune told the ReyFort Media Group in an interview that Pacquiao, who turned 40 last December, is in “very, very good” condition.
“His age is irrelevant,” Fortune said.
Head trainer Buboy Fernandez told ReyFort Media Group in a separate interview that Pacquiao will “double” what he did in 2018 in his fight against Matthyse.
According to Fernandez, Pacquiao is still “hungry” for good fights.
“Let us all help him with our prayers,” Fernandez said in Tagalog.
In another interview, Pacquiao consultant Freddie Roach told ReyFort Media Group that he expects the Filipino fighter to deliver an early knockout against Broner.
“Don’t be late,” is Roach’s advice to those coming to view the fight.
The ReyFort Media Group watched as Pacquiao trained in a gym Wednesday outside downtown Las Vegas.
Pacquiao later sent his greetings to the Filipino community in Vancouver, B.C.
Pacquiao has a 60-7-2 fight record, with 39 knockouts.
Broner, for his part, is 33-3-1, with 24 knockouts.
(By Rey Fortaleza (with files from Julian-Ray Fortaleza, Mario ‘Bro Marv’ Hernandez, and Christian Cunanan)