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PACQUIAO ARRIVES IN VEGAS; ROACH CONFIDENT


PhilBoxing.com




LAS VEGAS--The world's best fighter pound-for-pound Manny Pacquiao arrived here tonight on board his Navigator followed by the custom-painted Pacman bus carrying supporters, media and friends, and immediately proceeded to the Mandalay Bay Resorts and Casino here.

Pacquiao took the bus for a few miles starting in Los Angeles, and happily announced to the passengers to stay relaxed, enjoy the ride, and even joked they can wash their clothes inside the luxurious bus.

Trainer Freddie Roach was on board his new Mercedes Benz sedan going to Sin City, while other team members took different SUV's and sleek cars going to Las Vegas.

"Wag na kayong kabahan, kayo naman. Suntukan lang naman ito. Ako nga di kinakabahan eh," (Dont be too nervous. This is just a fist fight. I'm not even nervous), said the iconic Pacman, dapper in his long-sleeved polo and jeans following a four-round final sparring session at the Wild Card Gym late in the morning.

Pacquiao took on chief sparmate Rashad Holloway for four rounds, and looked spectacular this time in his final sparring after which he gave Holloway a big hug, thanking the latter for the job well done, along with the other sparmates.

Among those who witnessed the last sparring session was veteran fight analyst Larry Merchant, the man who first broached the De la Hoya versus Pacquiao idea to the world.

Also present at the gym was Cebu sportsman Rex 'Wakee' Salud and former Ilocos Sur Governor Chavit Singson, who came with his bodyguards and some friends.

Meanwhile, Pacquiao was visibly delighted to see giant billboards featuring him and De la Hoya upon entering the state of Nevada.

"Dagkoa sa billboard oy. Grabe ka dagko. This is the first time in history nga ang nawong sa Pinoy ga-bansiwag jud sa Las Vegas. Kaniadto si David Copperfield, Celine Dion og Lance Burton. Karon hasta Pacman naman!" (The billboards are so huge. This is the first time in history that a Pinoy is featured on those billboards. Before only Copperfield, Celine Dion and Lance Burton. Now it's Pacman's time), said Cebu boxing promoter Rex 'Wakee' Salud.

Pacquiao is set to run tomorrow morning at the UNLV campus, and then do light workout in the afternoon.

Top photo: Manny Pacquiao talks to wife Jinkee (L) and members of Team Pacquiao during dinner after his arrival at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas Monday evening.


Freddie Roach (L) answers questions to an interviewer upon his arrival at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.


HBO Commentator Larry Merchant (R) answers questions from the Philippine mediamen at the Wildcard Gym in Los Angeles before Team Pacquiao's departure for Las Vegas.


The author (L) poses with the bus driver.

Photos by Salven Lagumbay.





Click here to view a list of other articles written by Salven L. Lagumbay.


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