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PACMAN IS FIT AND READY, SAYS ROACH


PhilBoxing.com




Handlers of Manny Pacquiao yesterday declared the Filipino ring icon as fit and ready for his world welterweight championship fight with Puerto Rican belt-owner Miguel Cotto one week from now.

Chief trainer Freddie Roach and strength coach Alex Ariza, on the eve of Team Pacquiao’s departure to Las Vegas from Los Angeles, said their ward is 100 percent prepare to wrest the 147-pound crown and become the only man in the history of sweet science to win seven titles in as many weight divisions.

“Manny’s 100 percent ready,” Pacquiao’s American trainer told GAZETTE in an overseas telephone interview. “All the things that we had started in Manila had been completed here in Los Angeles.”

The 49-yeasr-old thrice recipient of the ‘Trainer lf the Year’ award from the Boxing Writers Association of America added that the last week of preparations in Las Vegas will only be confined on regimen to maintain his present condition.

Ariza, the junior-welterweight champ’s Columbian-born condition expert echoed Roach’s statement, saying he had never seen the six-weight titleholder in such a tip-top shape.

“I have handled Manny in his last four fights, including against (Oscar) De La Hoya and Hatton and I can safely say that I have never seen in this physical shape,” Ariza attested.

Middleweight prospect and former alternate in the United States Olympic boxing team Shawn Porter, Pacquiao’s sparring mate since setting up his training camp in Baguio City, agreed, saying: “Manny is definitely ready. I think this is his time and I think fans will see a lot in the ring.”

The Pacman himself, in a separate talk, assured his fans and countrymen back home of his readiness to make history and bring honor, not only to himself, but the country and the Filipinos as well.

“Napakaganda ng pakiramdam ko. We’ve had a goog training camp in the Philippines and here in Los Angeles,” he told this writer.

“This is the best condition I have ever been. I will be one hundred percent ready for this fight as I have been for all my fights,” he said. “I feel stronger and faster in this weight.”

Paquiao and party will be driving to Vegas on a bus used in his previous trip to the gambling city as a matter of tradition and serving as lucky charm.

Manny though, a source in the camp said, prefers to ride in his Ford Expedition with his driver at the wheel because it will be more comfortable than being with the big entourage.

Meanwhile, Pacquiao’s wife Jinkee and her own team has landed at LAX, the same insider said.

Jinkee, he said arrived with at least seven more in her traveling party, including her mother, her father, her sister and a few more guests. It is believed she spent the night at a family owned mansion in the swanky Hancock Park section of LA, an area where Muhammad Ali lived for some years.

Manny’s estranged father, Rosalio, will be at ringside to see his son fight for the first time. Pacman’s mother Nanay Dionesia will also be an honored guest at ringside at fight night on November 14 at the MGM Grand Arena.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.


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