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Thursday, October 15, 2009

More work for Pacman, Cotto just 4 weeks from fight

Cotto sends sparring mate home

MANILA – It’s one month before “People’s Champ” Manny Pacquiao enters the ring to challenge WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico in “Firepower” on November 14 and both fighters are still busy improving aspects of their game.

Pacquiao said in his “Kumbinasyon” column on PhilBoxing.com there are still a lot of areas to work on in his training with just a month away from fight night.

“Marami pang dapat gawin sa training at sa aking pakiramdam ay marami pang puwang upang lalong gumanda ang aking kundisyon sa laban,” said the pound-for-pound king, who is undergoing training in Baguio City.

“Kahit na wala naman akong problema sa timbang, sa tingin ko ngayon ay nasa 70 percent pa lang ako sa pagkahanda,” he added.

He was quick to assure his supporters that being 70 percent ready for the fight is okay as it would be bad for him to peak way too early.

On the other hand, Cotto “still has work to do” said Top Rank Promotions big boss Bob Arum in a report posted on FightHype.com.

Pacquiao and Cotto agreed to fight at a catch weight of 145 lbs. Aside from Cotto’s WBO welterweight title, the WBC Diamond crown will also be at stake on November 14.

Adjustments during rainy days

The “Pacman” said he made adjustments in training when Typhoon Pepeng brought heavy rains in Baguio City, where his training camp is based.

Pacquiao had to replace his morning jogging routine with swimming at the height of the storm.

“Hindi naman po masama ang swimming, bagkus ay maganda at kumpletong exercise din ito kaya naman walang complaint ang aking training team,” said Pacquiao.

He said he was able to jog again in the morning when the rains have stopped.

Pacquiao also said his team will be adding more sparring rounds in the coming days as the training intensifies.

The pound-for-pound king is set to leave for the US on October 24. But before that, he will train for a day at the Wild Card Gym in Parañaque City.

Pacquiao will kick off his US training on October 26 at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.

“Excited na akong lumaban ulit,” said the Filipino champ. He last fought on May 2 when he defeated Briton Ricky Hatton via second round knockout.

Cotto sparring mate

While Pacquiao is getting quality sparring sessions courtesy of Shawn Porter and Jose Luis Castillo, the same cannot be said of his opponent’s sparring experience.

Frankie Figueroa, Cotto’s sparring partner, complained to FightHype.com that he was asked to leave the Puerto Rican’s training camp for “unspecified reasons”.

“I don’t know what happened. I was giving him great work. I was putting the pressure on him. I was doing the Manny Pacquiao movements,” said Figueroa.

Figueroa claimed it was the first time he was asked to leave a training camp. He has sparred with Cotto in previous occasions and with other boxers including Shane Mosley and Hatton.

“I gave him [Cotto] the best ability that I can. I was giving him angles, I was giving him punch volume; I mean, of course not as much as Pacquiao, but damn near,” he said.

Meanwhile, Cotto fired back at boxing coach Freddie Roach for claiming that he has used dirty tactics during his past fights.

“Freddie Roach should learn to take his rightful role where he belongs, which is coaching,” Cotto told Elnuevodia.com.

“No matter the comments or what he tries to do, we’ll keep working and doing our usual style of fighting,” he added.

Arum on Cotto, Mayweather

Top Rank honcho Bob Arum, who promotes both Pacquiao and Cotto, shared his thoughts on the “Firepower” bout with Michael Rosenthal of Ring Magazine.

“Of course he won’t be as devastating as he was against De La Hoya and Hatton,” Arum said of Pacquiao, who defeated Oscar de la Hoya in 2008 in 8 rounds.

“Other than a suspect loss to (Antonio) Margarito, Cotto has fought anybody and hasn’t lost,” he said.

The Margarito fight in 2008 was Cotto’s only in his professional career. The Mexican banger defeated the Puerto Rican by an 11th round technical knockout.

Arum also shot down the possibility of a match up between Pacquiao and former pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

While he admitted that it would be a “fascinating fight,” he thinks that sealing the deal between the two fighters would be very difficult.

“I don’t think (Pacquiao-Mayweather) will happen within the next year because of all of Mayweather’s posturing, the trash talk. That impedes any realistic negotiations. It would just be too difficult,” he said.

Source: http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/sports/10/15/09/more-work-pacman-cotto-just-4-weeks-fight

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