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Thursday, November 12, 2009


By Eddie Alinea
Fri, 13 Nov 2009

With both pronouncing they’re ready, Filipino Manny Pacquiao and Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto brace themselves for their 12-round welterweight championship fight Saturday (Sunday in Manila) at MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao, the reigning International Boxing Organization junior-welterweight champion, is eyeing Cotto’s welterweight diadem in the hope to becoming the only man in the entire planet to wear a seventh crown in seven weight divisions.

Cotto, on the other hand, will not only be defending his 147-pound championship, but, likewise, will try to deny Pacquiao the honor of making boxing history and, at the same time cast doubt on the Filipino’s grip of the title pound-for-pound king in the sport of sweet science.

Last Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) Pacquiao, ‘Pacman’ to the boxing world who is also the reigning ‘Fighter of the Year’ and box office king, and Cotto, the ‘Bocicua’ three-time world champion, met for the final press conference where they were both handed the Keys to the City by Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman in the presence Bob Arum, president of the promoting Top Rank, their handlers and many of their followers.

Pacquiao, being the challenger, was the first of the two boxers to speak to the press and, as usual, begun by thanking God, the media and various other organizations present at the conference.

“This fight is the most important fight in my boxing career, he said signifying the importance of the fight in his 14-year boxing career that started as a 108-pound fighter and climbed to 145-pound, the catch-weight agreed upon for the bout.

“If I win this fight I think it’s another history in boxing”, he said as be brought laughter from his audience when he thanked his chief trainer Freddie Roach, whom he said he will now call “Master.”

“Of course I have to thank Freddie Roach, my master… my master in boxing. Before I call him coach Freddy, but now I call him my master,” he said before proceeding on how he trained, first in Baguio City in the Philippines where he spent the first five weeks of preparations, then at the Roach-owned Wild Gym in Hollywood then in Las Vegas.

Commenting on the exchange of harsh words between his camp and that of Cotto, particularly between roach and the Puerto Rican trainer Jose Santiago, Pacquiao said he has not been bothered by all those, adding that he will let his fists do the talking atop the ring.

Cotto, also in his usual self, kept his comments short and to the point. “The only left to say is that there is only 3 days left, and we have worked hard, we have worked like never before.”

“I feel good, I’m in excellent condition and it’s going to be a great night for all boxing fans in general, but specially for the Latino fans, and most of all the Puerto Ricans. We’re prepared for everything and specially to win,” he averred.

Executive secretary of the World Boxing Council, Mauricio Suliman, executive secretary of the World Boxing Council, was also present, representing his father, WBC president Jose Sulaiman, in presenting the ‘Diamond Belt’ which will be rewarced tothe winner of the bout.

“The WBC voted unanimously from all around the world to recognize this as one of the greatest fights in recent years”, the young Suliman declared. “The WBC diamond belt was voted and produced for the winner of this fight as recognition of the greatest fighter of today.”

“It is not a new title, it is not a new championship, it is not a new confusing thing, it is just a trophy for the winner of Saturday night. The winner will take home the belt, it has 600 diamonds, so they can give 600 engagement rings to some girls,” he concluded Sulaiman drawing laughter from the fighters and crowd.

Roach, in his turn to speak also kept his comments short and polite stating they had a great training camp and thanking all members of his camp.

Santiago was a bit livelier when he remarked: “Miguel Cotto is in excellent shape and we hope our opponent is as well. There’s only 3 more days until the fight, and a great victory for Puerto Rico. Manny good luck, you’re going to need it.”

Source: http://philboxing.com/news/story-29498.html

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