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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Pacquiao lethal left holds key vs Cotto

MANILA, Philippines - The punch very similar to the one that brought Ricky Hatton down for good may yet again be the key when Manny Pacquiao fights the younger, bigger but slower Miguel Cotto on Nov. 14.

This was the observation made by Pacquiao’s former business manager, Rod Nazario, who had the pound-for-pound champion as special guest yesterday at his Wild Card Gym in ParaƱaque.

Pacquiao, despite his very hectic schedule, visited the gym, where he also trained for some of his recent fights, for the ninth anniversary celebration of the television boxing program In This Corner.

“I’ve watched Cotto’s recent fights, and remember this, Manny,” Nazario said as the boxer he used to handle listened. “Cotto has the tendency to drop his right hand as he launches an attack.”

Nazario told Pacquiao that “a short and crisp left” could be the key.

“Like in the Hatton fight, you didn’t have to go after him. All you needed was wait before you could throw that short left,” said Nazario who, despite his medical condition, still came to see the Hatton fight in Las Vegas last May.

Nazario pulled off a big surprise when he gifted Pacquiao with a rare 1856 chess set, made in Russia, which he bought in an antique store in Orlando for $1,050. Pacquiao, a chess buff, said he’d have a special chess board of narra wood with ivory trimmings made.

“Hindi ka na mananalo sa akin (This time you can’t beat me),” Pacquiao told Nazario who, this early, had announced that next year’s In This Corner party will be held at The Manila Hotel.

Nazario is part of the original Team Pacquiao, along with Moy Lainez, Lito Mondejar and Gerry Garcia. Together, they also helped put up the Blow By Blow program that lasted six years until 2000, and then In This Corner.

Pacquiao said Cotto will stake his WBO welterweight crown when they clash at the catchweight of 145 lb.

Pacquiao arrived past noon and went straight to Nazario who was holed up in his office. He came on board his grey Porsche Cayenne and left more than an hour later on his black Hummer for Quiapo to resume shooting his new movie.

Pacquiao said he’s eager to start training for the Cotto fight set at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas but said he has to honor all his prior commitments, mostly showbiz related.

Pacquiao will be in the US for the launch of the press tour that will take him and Cotto to New York’s Yankee Stadium on Sept. 10, Cotto’s hometown in Caguas, Puerto Rico on Sept. 12, and the AT&T Park in San Francisco the following day.

Pacquiao, who will grace the Giants-Dodgers game in San Francisco, said he’d fly back to Manila after the press tour, and should immediately start his training, most likely in Baguio City.

Then after a week or two, Pacquiao will move somewhere outside of the US to resume his training, probably in Mexico or Canada, and will be in Los Angeles or Las Vegas for the final push.

Pacquiao said he stayed up so late Thursday night as he joined the officers of the USS George Washington, the world’s largest warship, which is docked off Manila Bay, just behind the SM Mall of Asia.

Pacquiao toured the 18-storey ship that carries more than 60 fighter planes and a crew of 5,000 at around 6 p.m. Then he had dinner with AFP and US military officials at Mandarin Hotel.

Source: philstar.com

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