Manny Pacquiao has thanked former promoter Bob Arum for reminding him of the dangers of brain injury ahead of his world title challenge against WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman.
Pacquiao and Thurman will meet at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 20.
Top Rank boss Arum said he was concerned about the 40-year-old Pacquiao’s health against the big punching Thurman, who has 22 stoppages in 29 starts.
But Pacquiao brushed off the comments, saying he puts his faith in God.
“God is good all the time,” Pacquiao 61-7-2 (39) told The Manila Times before his departure from the Philippines to Los Angeles to continue his training camp.
“That’s boxing but God is always there to protect me and there’s nothing to worry about.”
Former eight-division world titleholder Pacquiao insisted that the boxer’s safety is his own responsibility and said that it comes down to how he prepares and conditions his body.
“I’m really thankful but it depends on the boxer if how he takes cares of his body and how he trains. The preparation should be enough even he’s 40-year-old or more than in order to do what he wants at the top of the ring,” said Pacquiao.
Pacquaio will spend one month finishing off his preparation at Freddie Roach’s famed Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, California with head coach Buboy Fernandez and strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune.
Last week Arum revealed he had concerned about Pacqauio’s safety in the ring.
“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,” the veteran promoter said.
“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 was hospitalised after suffering bleeding on the brain following his 11th round stoppage loss to Cletus Seldin in Syracuse last week. Judah was released from hospital on Monday.
“Zab Judah is a perfect example of how dangerous it is for a guy to continue fighting into his 40s,” Arum said.