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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ali trainer admits Pacquiao's the best

MANILA, Philippines - Twice proven wrong, legendary trainer Angelo Dundee has finally acknowledged Manny Pacquiao as the best there is today.

“I think Pacquiao is the best fighter today,” the former cornerman of champions like Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard told The Sweet Science as he tried to break down the coming fight between Pacquiao, the reigning pound-for-pound champion, and Miguel Cotto, the WBO welterweight king.

Dundee was part of Oscar dela Hoya’s training camp when the Golden Boy faced Pacquiao last December, and was away when the Filipino boxing icon took on light-welterweight champion Ricky Hatton last May. Twice in both fights, Dundee predicted that Pacquiao was on the losing end of the fight.

And twice he was proven wrong.

Dundee said the Pacquiao-Cotto fight, set on Nov. 14 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, should be a very good one, and for a change he seemed to be on Pacquiao’s side.

“This is going to be tremendous. It is a match made in heaven.” Dundee told The Sweet Science. “I am looking forward to Pacquiao-Cotto. This fight will catch your imagination because Cotto keeps coming, and this other kid Pacquiao, is so good, so slick. I think Pacquiao is the best fighter right now and this is a great fight.”

No contract has been signed yet by both fighters although there’s been a verbal agreement between them and Top Rank president Bob Arum, who holds the rights over Pacquiao and Cotto.

The fight is set at a catchweight of 145 lb with Pacquiao sure to be getting the bigger slice of the purse. What remains uncertain, though, is if Cotto, the pride of Puerto Rico, would stake his WBO welterweight contract.

According to boxing chronicler Michael Marley, Cotto’s lawyer, Gabriel Penagaricano Jr., has already stated that “Cotto has no desire to risk his belt against Pacman.”

Fight fans, however, wouldn’t really mind whether or not there’ll be a title at stake. Dundee must feel the same way, too.

“To me, it is probably Pacquiao’s toughest fight,” said Dundee.

“Styles, Cotto never stops coming. We will see a great fight. I will probably end up going to that fight because I want to see it,” he added.

Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, is once again going for the knockout.

“We’re going to knock out Cotto,” he told FightHype.com.

“I don’t have anything bad to say about Cotto. I believe he’s an excellent athlete that is always well-prepared for his fights but I have trust in the abilities of Manny and I believe we’re going to knock out Cotto,” said Roach.

Source: http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=489655&publicationSubCategoryId=69

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