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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pacquiao, Cotto hold their fire

By Francis Thimsel J. Ochoa
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 04:52:00 11/13/2009

LAS VEGAS — After all the exchange of words by the trainers of the two boxers who will cross paths this Saturday at the MGM Grand here, you’d think that verbal fireworks would highlight the final press conference before fight night.

Taking their cues from their fighters, however, Manny Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach and Miguel Cotto coach Joe Santiago limited their show of bravado to a single statement each Wednesday afternoon.

“Miguel, good luck to you and your camp and we’ll see you Saturday night,” Roach said at the podium during the press conference.

It was a far cry from the verbal volleys Roach launched weeks before traveling to this gambling hotspot, when the three-time Trainer of the Year minced no words in trying to get under the skin of Team Cotto.

“We’re in great shape for the fight,” added Roach.

For his part, the 32-year-old Joe Santiago skipped the opportunity to unload his own barrage at the guy who had offered nothing but disparaging remarks about his ability to man Cotto’s corner.

Instead, the former nutritionist trained his peashooters at Pacquiao.

“Good luck Manny, you’re going to need it,” said Santiago.

Santiago got into a verbal war with Roach after the Pacquiao mentor predicted that his ward would knock Miguel Cotto out cold in one round.

After Santiago dismissed the prediction, Roach refused to ease up on his verbal assault, describing Santiago as someone “who doesn’t know what it takes to be in the ring.”

“He’s never fought in his life, not a single fight,” Roach said.

“He puts a towel on his shoulder and gives his guy a drink and he thinks he’s a coach.”

Pacquiao and Cotto set the tone of the press conference by expressing respect for each other.

“I know Manny’s skill, that’s why I trained hard for this fight,” said Cotto.

“We have a game plan for this fight and it’s going to be a great night for boxing, especially for Latinos and Puerto Ricans.”

Pacquiao, as usual, was a model of humility during the conference.

“I respect Miguel Cotto and his team,” Pacquiao said. “They’re nice guys and they’re friendly. On Saturday, may the best man win.”

Source: http://sports.inquirer.net/professional/professional/view/20091113-235911/Pacquiao-Cotto-hold-their-fire

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