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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pacquiao 70 percent ready; Cotto feels good

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MANILA, Philippines - Manny Pacquiao yesterday declared himself “70 percent” fit and ready for his Nov. 14 fight with reigning WBA welterweight champion Miguel Cotto.

After another day of sparring at the Shape Up Gym in Baguio City, the 30-year-old Filipino ring icon said he’s happy with where he is right now.

“Sa tingin ko ngayon ay nasa 70 percent pa lang ako sa pagkahanda (I think I’m 70 percent ready),” said Pacquiao.

With only 29 days left before the fight, Pacquiao said being at 70 percent is just the right thing to do, since it’s not advisable for him to reach his peak with still some distance to the fight.

“Hindi maganda ‘yon (That won’t be good),” he said of a possible case of peaking too early or being burned out in training. Earlier this week, Pacquiao tipped the scales at 150 lb.

That gives him enough time to slowly but surely make the catchweight of 145 lb. One of his trainers, Nonoy Neri, said Pacquiao is right on track, meaning he can still eat as much as he wants as long as he trains as hard, including sparring with former world champion Jose Luis Castillo.

Last Oct. 1, Freddie Roach said Pacquiao was at 40 percent of his full potential, but added that before they leave for Los Angeles on Oct. 24, the reigning pound-for-pound champ should be “80 to 90 percent” ready.

Meanwhile, Pacquiao and Roach will be given plaque of recognition by the Baguio Elderly Assembly (BEA) during the Parangal Rites at the Rose Garden in Burnham Park on Sunday.

The popular fighter-trainer tandem will be cited for their exemplary leadership and highly meritorious list of achievements in the boxing world.

BEA is the biggest aggrupation of elderly associations in Baguio and Benguet which boasts of 25,000 members.

Over in Tampa, Florida, Cotto also reported that everything’s going on smoothly.

“We are very good, very happy, very pleased with the camp. It is the best preparation we have done. Also a little sore from the intensity of work in the afternoons here in the gym and in the mornings at the track, but we know that these pains go away and that our ‘performance’ will greatly improve,” he was quoted as saying.

Cotto, younger and bigger but not necessarly stronger than Pacquiao, also said in an article posted by the examiner.com, “I feel very calm, I do not have anxiety. Unlike many previous campings, we are enjoying our time and the day to day activities along with the people in my camp, as much in the track as in the gymnasium.”

Cotto is a couple of weeks ahead of Pacquiao in training, but said during the fight’s press tour last month in the United States that he was at 160 lb, meaning he’s got a lot more work to do in losing those pounds.

After a few weeks in Puerto Rico, he now trains at the Fight Factory Gym owned by Cuban trainer Pete Fernandez. Like Pacquiao, it’s twice-a-day of training, doing cardio, jump rope and gauntlet plus road work in the morning, and gym work in the afternoon. – Abac Cordero with report from Artemio Dumlao

Source: http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=514589&publicationSubCategoryId=69

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