Pacquiao on Arum’s Fears: God is Always There To Protect Me

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Last week, veteran promoter Bob Arum expressed his fears that eight division champion Manny Pacquiao might be risking brain damage when he steps into the ring against WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman in Las Vegas on July 20th at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao, who turns 41 in December, will be facing one of his most dangerous opponents in years in the shape of Thurman, who is unbeaten in 30 fights and 10 years younger than the Filipino.

The 87-year-old Arum, through his company Top Rank, handled most of Pacquiao’s signature fights.

Pacquiao parted ways with Arum in late 2017 and then signed on last year with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions.

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Arum believes the serious brain injury suffered by 41-year-old Zab Judah two weeks ago should serve as a cautionary tale.

Speaking on the sidelines of this Saturday’s heavyweight fight between Tyson Fury and Tom Schwarz in Las Vegas, Arum admitted he feared for Pacquiao.

“Look, I love Manny Pacquiao,” Arum told reporters.

“I have a whole history with Manny Pacquiao. I’m really rooting for Manny Pacquiao, but you’ve gotta realise that he’s 41 years of age, and when a fighter has been around so long passes his late 30s and goes into his 40s, he’s not gonna be as good as he was in his prime.

“I wish him the best and I hope he wins the fight but I am concerned, as I would be for any fighter, that when they get to a certain age that they probably should not be fighting anymore.

“You know, I mean, the doctors will tell you that the cranium as you get older, thins out. So a guy that’s younger gets hit and the cranium absorbs the blow so that it doesn’t affect the brain matter.

“When they get older the cranium is thinner, and when you get hit it affects — that would be the worst thing in the world if Manny Pacquiao suffered brain damage at this point.”

Arum cited the case of Judah, who suffered a bleed on the brain after his 11th round stoppage by Cletus Seldin in Syracuse. Judah was released from hospital last Monday.

“Zab Judah is a perfect example of how dangerous it is for a guy to continue fighting into his 40s,” Arum said.

Pacquiao, who is now training in Los Angeles with Freddie Roach at the Wild Card Boxing Club, has no concerns when advised of Arum’s comments.

“God is always there to protect me and there’s nothing to worry about. God is good all the time,” Pacquiao, who has compiled a record of 61-7-2 with 39 KOs, told The Manila Times on Monday.

“I’m really thankful [for Arum’s advice] but it depends on the boxer on how he takes cares of his body and how he trains. The preparation should be enough even if he’s 40 years old or more, to do what he wants at the top of the ring.”

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