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Friday, October 23, 2009

'Perfect' Pacquiao ready for Cotto: boxer's trainer

MANILA — Boxing hero Manny Pacquiao has overcome disruptions from typhoons and landslides while training in the Philippines to be in ideal shape ahead of his big bout with Miguel Cotto, his trainer said.

"He is right where I want him to be, perfect," Freddie Roach told AFP on Thursday evening after the six-time world-champion completed a heavy workout that included 10 rounds of sparring in a Manila gym.

Pacquiao will head to the United States on the weekend after an intense five weeks of training in his home country, during which more than 1,000 people died in natural disasters.

Pacquiao was even forced to move camps from the cool mountain resort of Baguio to the sweaty capital of Manila after storms claimed hundreds of lives in and around the hill station, then a typhoon threatened more damage there.

But Roach insisted the disasters had not impacted his 30-year-old protege, who stunned the world with victories over American great Oscar de la Hoya last year and Britain's Ricky Hatton in May.

"We didn't let it affect our training. We worked right through it and never missed a day," Roach said of the storms.

"So it was a great training camp in Baguio."

Pacquiao is a deeply religious man and a hero to virtually everyone in the Southeast Asian nation. But Roach said Pacquiao had remained completely committed to his training despite the disasters going on around him.

"One hundred percent. No problem at all. It's been a really good training camp. He's been focused from day one, throughout," he said.

Pacquiao will travel to Los Angeles for two weeks of training ahead of his November 14 fight against Cotto, the 27-year-old Puerto Rican who is looking to snatch the Filipino's status as best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

Cotto, the WBO welterweight champion, is a huge underdog for the 145-pound bout at the MGM Grand hotel and casino in Las Vegas.

But his trainer, Joe Santiago, said this week he was confident of an 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," Santiago said from Cotto's training camp at the Fight Factory Gym in Tampa, Florida.

"Cotto is the first true welterweight that (Pacquiao) will have fought in his career. He is young and still in his prime so that is what Pacquiao is facing."

Source: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hOgWPSF0lFUAO7QGLWo-KQ1wjw-A

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