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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pacman looks fit, ready at 149 lb

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MANILA, Philippines - Manny Pacquiao is down to 149 lb and in his morning workout yesterday sported a body that should be good enough to withstand anything Miguel Cotto could offer on Nov. 14.

“I’ve never seen him in better shape,” said conditioning coach Alex Ariza as Pacquiao, shirt off, was sprinting across the Rizal Memorial Stadium grounds, racing with his pet Terrier.

Pacquiao woke up a little late than usual and tipped the scales inside his hotel suite at 149 lb, just four pounds over the catchweight limit of 145 for his WBO welterweight title fight with Cotto.

Mediamen, including an HBO crew that crossed the Pacific to get a 24/7 glimpse of the Pinoy icon, had gathered at the parking lot outside the stadium as early as 6 a.m.

Pacquiao spent 20 minutes around the rubber-surfaced track with his sparring partner Urbano Antillon, the upcoming Rodolfo Sumabong of Cebu and “Pacman,” the three-year-old Jack Russell Terrier.

Pacquiao had to be restrained by his assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez from running another lap because chief trainer Freddie Roach, who was not around, had wanted no more than 20 minutes.

“That’s the problem with Manny. Once he breaks that sweat, he just won’t stop. He’s like that little thing that you turn on and it gets going and going and going – very difficult to stop him,” said Ariza.

Pacquiao then did his abdominal exercises as he lay on a mat and was shielded from heat of the sun by a towel held across by seconds, ex-world champ Dodie Boy Peñalosa and Jojo Sta. Terera.

He declared himself fit and ready for battle.

“So far, so good. I’m happy with my training,” said Pacquiao, even if he had to leave Baguio City in a huff before midnight of Sunday for fear that a new super typhoon might catch up with them up there.

“I’m faster that Cotto so I will use that speed the proper way,” said the 30-year-old champ, who had a brief rest back in his hotel before proceeding to the Gerry Peñalosa Gym in Mandaluyong for sparring.

Pacquiao is in his final days of workout in the Philippines, and by Saturday he would have done five weeks, and in the evening will push for Los Angeles where he’ll train two more weeks at the Wild Card Gym.

Ariza said the change of training venue will not stop Pacquiao from working hard.

“It doesn’t make a lot of difference to him. No difference. We don’t skip a beat here. Training is training. A few more days here then we take off and pick up from where we left off in LA,” he said.

In Baguio, the rains kept Pacquiao out of the road for a couple of days, but Ariza said that in a way it worked to their favor.

“Personally it did us some good because he got to rest a little bit more. On the day he skipped the run he sparred much better. Yesterday he did 15 rounds (with the mitts) and he wasn’t even breathing.

“He’s down to 149 but I want him to load up (with protein shakes) because I want him at around 151 by the time we leave for LA. He’s in the best shape I’ve ever seen him,” Ariza said.

Source: http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=516090&publicationSubCategoryId=69

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