Now it's the final stages. What's the difference between the beginning of camp and these final stages?
"The beginning of camp is a lot of strength work, a lot of conditioning, more basic stuff. Then we started to build on technique and strategy. This part is just sparring, which is actually my favorite part. It's definitely the most difficult, it wears on your body, because sparring is tough. But I actually look forward to my sparring sessions."
Has it been hard to simulate a guy like Manny?
"There's only one Manny Pacquiao. There's nobody out there that fights like him. But we can take different aspects of his style and find partners that have done that. We have. My coaches have done a great job doing that. Every session we're just trying to accomplish certain goals, and little check-offs as we go from week-to-week, and put it all together. Fight night will be the finished product."
What makes your approach different from other fighters?
"I don't concentrate too much on my opponents. I really focus on myself inwardly and think about what my job is. I'm not really concerned about what they're doing. My job is every day. Every session for me is important. And when you have two sessions a day, it's a lot of mental preparation every single day. I don't think too far ahead, think about what my opponent is doing, because I don't have time for that. I gotta focus on what I have. I think that may be a little different from a lot of other athletes, who may really be concerned about their opponent, really focused in on what their opponent is up to."
This could go 12 rounds in a place that's not home for you in China. I know you want to be able to dominate and impose your game plan, but it is Manny Pacquiao. Given that, are you worried about the judges?
"I'm not really overly concerned about that. I'm just focused on doing what I need to do. I think if I go out there and I win every round the way I'm planning to or want to, then it can't be close. I don't plan for close fights. I plan for tough fights, but not for close fights. I'm going out there to win every round. That's how I approach every fight. This fight is not any different than any other fight in my career. I don't want close fights. I want to dominate fights."
Have you already pictured every single round of that fight?
"Not all the way through! With my coaches, we're only in the first half of the fight so far. We might be at four or five right now. But different parts of a fight are different fights. You've really got to prepare for every phase. Our sparring will coincide with that as well, and the strategy will change, and the different things we work on camp. My coaches are very, very specific."
I know you were a pro kickboxer, what's harder? Kickboxing or boxing?
"The talent pool in boxing is so much bigger that the talent is higher. Much, much higher. But in terms of technique, I mean kickboxing has more weapons. It's not just left hand and right hand, it's left leg and right foot, and kicking's hard."
What do you feel has translated from kickboxing to boxing?
"I definitely had to change a lot of things technically and physically, but I think the preparation, like, the lifestyle leading up to a fight and training camps, and the whole idea of the one-on-one aspect. It's a fight! This is a fight, it's not a game. Neither one of those sports are games. I didn't play kickboxing, and you don't play boxing. That mental edge has been the biggest part of helping me in boxing."
Was MMA ever on your mind?
"No, because I grew up a boxing fan. I grew up watching boxing champions. I wanted to be a boxing champion, and for me there was no MMA when I was a kid, so there was no drive to want to be a UFC or MMA fighter."
Maybe in the future?
"No. I think boxing is the top of combat sports. I really do. It's the prettiest and the best and the most highly skilled. So there's no reason for me to backtrack."