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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pacquiao flies to Los Angeles

MANILA, Philippines — Manny Pacquiao leaves for Los Angeles today (Saturday) with trainer Freddie Roach rating the pound-for-pound champion in “90 percent” shape as he hunts for Miguel Cotto’s welterweight crown on Nov. 14 in Las Vegas.

“Manny is 90 percent now,” Roach told reporters during the Scoop forum on Friday. “We have handled the distractions very well.”

Pacquiao will head to Los Angeles weighing 146.5 pounds, just 1½ lb above the catch weight of the fight with still several training days ahead of him.

“I have to feed Manny five times a day in training camp to keep his weight on purposely,” Roach said. “He has to drink three protein shakes a day. He hates the protein shakes.”

Roach expects Pacquiao to be only 140 lb during the weigh-in and says the boxer could way 148 or 149 lb during the fight—which will be for Cotto’s WBO welterweight belt.

Roach also warned that he’ll call the fight off if Cotto comes in beyond the regular welterweight limit of 147 lb.

“Our limit for Cotto is just 147 lb [if he’s overweight],” Roach said. “There’s no fight if he weighs beyond that. Cotto will be assessed a $1-million penalty for every pound overweight.”

Roach plans to sic Pacquiao on Cotto in the early rounds, noting that the Puerto Rican star is prone to slow starts and has fallen early in the bout several times during his career.

“The thing is I feel that if we go after him and pressure him right away we can get him out of there,” Roach said. “If you see his tapes, he’s been hurt in the first round at least seven times he’s been down a couple of fights.”

Cotto is listed as the underdog in the match, with betting lines listing Pacquiao a -250 favorite and his opponent a +190 underdog. This means that a $100 bet on Cotto can win $190, while to win $100 on Pacquiao, one would have to be $250.

But speaking from Tampa, Florida, Cotto trainer Joe Santiago said that he is confident his ward will pull off the year’s biggest upset.

“When that night comes and he wins, everyone will know that Puerto Rico does have the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world,” said Santiago. “Cotto is the first true welterweight that [Pacquiao] will have fought. He is young and still in his prime so that is what Pacquiao will face.” Francis Ochoa, AFP

Source: http://sports.inquirer.net/professional/professional/view/20091024-231940/Pacquiao-flies-to-Los-Angeles

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