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Monday, September 14, 2009

Baguio mayor asks residents to avoid Pacquiao

BAGUIO CITY—Celebrities love Baguio because its residents either ignore them or are generally oblivious to their presence here.

This attitude, said Mayor Reinaldo Bautista Jr., is the reason Manny Pacquiao chose to train in this mountain city for a month for his Nov. 14 fight with Puerto Rican champion Miguel Cotto.

But because the city's reputation of ignoring celebrities could now be a "myth," Bautista on Monday asked the Baguio public to stay away from Pacquiao's training camp.

Bautista made the appeal so Pacquiao's training would not be disrupted by fans seeking autographs or photographs with the boxer.

Pacquiao, who will try to wrest Cotto's World Boxing Organization welterweight crown, is due to start training on Sept. 20 after his arrival from a press tour in the United States and Puerto Rico. He will be provided round-the-clock security.

Part of his training would be done at Camp John Hay, where Pacquiao could jog daily without being bothered. The rest of his training would be held at the Philippine Sports Commission facility in Teachers' Camp.

Bautista said Pacquiao would be guarded by a private security group.

Businessman Manny Pangilinan, a patron of Philippine sports, has been coordinating with city officials the details of Pacquiao's training since 2008.

"Every national athlete has trained [in Baguio] because the thin air is Baguio's true contribution to athletics … Pangilinan also brought in [Nonito] Donaire Jr. to train here," Bautista said.

Pangilinan chose Baguio over Mexico, Bautista said, "because we have better facilities here, better air, and of course better water."

Meanwhile, Freddie Roach told ESPN.com that foot speed, not hand speed, would be the key to victory for Pacquiao in the 12-round megabuck bout set at a catch weight of 145 pounds.

Pacquiao and Cotto were at the AT&T Park in San Francisco on Sunday (Monday in Manila) in the third stop of their press tour which earlier took them to New York City and Caguas, Puerto Rico.

Roach, will also be arriving in the country to supervise Pacquiao’s training.

Source: inquirer.net

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