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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Cotto in final push

Miguel Cotto is now in Tampa, Florida, for the final and most crucial stretch of his training for the November 14 battle with Manny Pacquiao.

Cotto told the Puerto Rican press just before heading to Tampa that the series of pre-conditioning workouts that took place the last four weeks gave him a big lift for the final eight weeks of training at the Tampa Fight Factory Gym.

Cotto officially begins his camp in Tampa on Monday with chief trainer Joe Santiago and conditioning coach Phil Landman supervising his workouts.

“Now we are going to put emphasis on the technical aspect of the fight (with Pacquiao) without neglecting the physical aspect,” said Santiago, a long-time assistant who will work the corner for just the second time.

During the final day of his training, Cotto allowed spectators – fight fans and even select students from the capital of San Juan – to watch him break out a sweat for the final time.

“It is a way of saying thanks,” said the 28-year-old Cotto.

Interviewed by renowned cornerman Teddy Atlas in Florida during a fight card there, Cotto expressed the belief that his advantage in size will play a big role in determining victory from defeat and that Pacquiao’s quickness might not be enough to propel him past the rugged Puerto Rican.

“He’s a speedy guy, you know, but people said the same when I faced Zab Judah and when I faced Shane Mosley and you didn’t see the speed of them against me,” said Cotto, who is a 2-1 underdog in what is regarded as the biggest fight of his storied career.

Pacquiao, meanwhile, is also in training mode.

Hours after his arrival from Los Angeles on Thursday, the 30-year-old Filipino went out jogging and the next day was at the Wild Card Fitness Gym in Paranaque for his first workout.

Pacquiao doesn’t kick off his training camp until tomorrow at the Cooyeesan Hotel in Baguio City where childhood friend and training assistant Buboy Fernandez has been eagerly awaiting his arrival since the middle of this week.

A state-of-the-art gym can be found inside the hotel and just outside the hotel is a golf course that is under construction that Pacquiao plans to use as venue for his morning roadwork.

On Saturday, Pacquiao showed up once more at the Wild Card sweat shop and the pound-for-pound king told old pals Moy Lainez and Gerry Garcia that the he couldn't stand the heat.

Source: mb.com.ph

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