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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cotto ready for long grind

MANILA, Philippines - Fitness expert Phil Landman, tasked to make sure that Miguel Cotto will be in the best shape possible for his Nov. 14 clash with Manny Pacquiao, is now with the WBO welterweight champion in his training quarters in Puerto Rico.

The 37-year-old Landman, a South African now based in Los Angeles, liked what he saw.

“Miguel looks strong, happy and very motivated,” said Landman, whose arrival in Puerto Rico marked the start of Cotto’s heavy 11-week training for what many ring experts consider as the biggest fight of the year.

“It’s not like Miguel has lacked any motivation in the past. It’s just that I see something different (in him). You know it’s an important fight and he’s taking things seriously,” Landman told Puerto Rican newspaper Primera Hora.

“Mentally, Miguel looks ready for the long work that awaits him. This time the training camp will last around 11 weeks and it helps to ensure that Miguel reaches a certain condition before having to do the promotional tour,” said the fitness expert.

The promotional tour begins on Sept. 10 and will take Cotto and Pacquiao to Puerto Rico, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Cotto’s training then shifts to Florida where he’ll stay until the fight draws closer.

“There are a few things we can improve (on) and there we will be concentrating on a combination of things,” added Landman of some of their plans for the fight to be held at a catchweight of 145 lb, two short of the welterweight limit.

Cotto has been at the gym for almost two weeks now, saying he needed three months to prepare for Pacquiao. But it’s the next 11 weeks that will really count in his training for the biggest fight of his career.

Pacquiao, on the other hand, is busy with some other things, like the filming of his new movie, the shooting of new commercials, and taping of his regular television shows.

Pacquiao said there’s no reason to hurry as far as training is concerned, since it’s been proven effectively in the past that seven, eight or nine weeks of training will do it for him.

Pacquiao, however, said he plans to start getting in shape soon by playing basketball. He said he weighs around 152 to 153 pounds, just about the right weight before he starts training to get down to 140.

Pacquiao said right after the press tour, he’d fly back to the Philippines to start training in Baguio City, the chilly summer capital of the country. Then he goes to Mexico for the long grind, and then either in LA or Las Vegas 10 days before the fight.

He said it doesn’t matter if Cotto had gone way ahead in training.

“Maganda ‘yan para pagdating sa laban hindi na siya maka-suntok (That’s good so when the fight comes he can barely throw a punch),” Pacquiao told scribes during a break in his movie shooting.

Source: philstar.com

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