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Pacquiao, Hernandez Ready to Rumble


PhilBoxing.com




LAS VEGAS, NV—While main focus shifted on the failure of challenger Jose Luis Castillo to make weight and the verbal tussle that ensued between the Mexicans’ and Diego Corrales’ camp, the supporting bouts including Bobby Pacquiao and Carlos Hernandez also started to heat up.

With news of the Filipino’s superb condition leaking to media, die-hard followers of Manny, the “Pacman,” elder brother of Bobby, changed the odds from a previous 3-1 to 2-1, rallying behind the younger Pacquiao in a show of support.

“Nakapaghanda ako ng matagal para sa laban na ito at gagawin ko ang lahat para manalo para sa aking pamilya, bansa at fans,” said Pacquiao, who tipped the scales at 130, two pounds lighter than Hernandez, right of the button of the 132-pound ceiling. Pacquiao’s No. 1 fan, his wife Lorelie, planed in last week to give full support to her husband.

The Pacquiao-Hernandez bout will start at 6 p.m. at the Thomas and Mack Center here for 10 rounds underneath the Julio Cesar Chavez-Jeremy Stiers and Jorge Arce-Hussein Hussein rematch, all shown on pay-per-view and beamed all over the world.

As Castillo gave up making the 135 limit out of sheer frustration and camp infighting between his trainer and physician, among others, the much-awaited rematch of the year was reduced to a non-title fight which will be fought at a catch weight of 147 pounds.

Philippine ring idol Manny Pacquiao arrived Thursday night in Los Angeles and immediately traveled by land in this gambling capital to give pointers to his brother in the morning, psyching him up and showing some footwork and combination that could probably be key to victory.

In only his second time in Las Vegas and his first real big-time fight, Bobby Pacquiao remained focused on his goal of upsetting the former super-featherweight world champion who was born in America but of El Salvadorian parents.

The soft-spoken Hernandez, who is a devout Roman Catholic, expects Pacquiao to “come out very strong” and make a statement. He also knows the work ethic at the Wild Card gym of Freddie Roach, where he used to train.

“He looks strong and focused and I know he will try to be his own man in this fight,” said Hernandez, who lives in West Covina, in Southern California, in the middle of a Little Manila community.

“My younger brother is in the Philippines and he plans to become a monk,” said Hernandez. Next year, the 34-year-old “Famoso” even plans to visit the Philippines and probably indulge in the delicacy “balut.” Always at Hernandez’s side is his pregnant wife Veronica and two-year-old Christian.

“Bobby is totally a new boxer, totally different from the one that I saw a year ago. His dedication is tremendous and I think this will be key to victory,” said Roach. While Pacquiao’s record is nothing to crow about, (25-11-3, 11 KOs) as compared to Hernandez’s 41-5-1, 24 KOs, his renewed fire and dream of making it big may just be the inspiration and motivation he needs.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Winchell Campos.


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