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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Eight-week countdown on for Pacquiao-Cotto battle

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EVERYONE is anxious about the upcoming fight of Manny Pacquiao. Blogs, web sites, chat rooms and articles are all focused on the preparation—or the absence of it—of the People’s Champ.

Pacquiao is back in Manila after a week of fulfilling his marketing obligations that included traveling in key cities in the US and Puerto Rico to drum up excitement for the fight.

Experts have pointed out that with Pacquia’s tight schedule, he may not have enough time to prepare for Miguel Cotto.

Pacquiao has said time and again that he only needs eight weeks to hone up for Cotto. He said after training for so many fights against the world’s best, he is pretty sure eight weeks is enough. He estimates that he will be at his peak at fight night.

Another concern arose when Pacquiao picked Baguio City over Mexico, a choice of his trainer Freddie Roach, as venue for his training.

His choice of Baguio City has stirred speculations local politics has something to do with it.

Pacquiao’s focus is the other principal concern. The overall concensus is that if Pacquiao will only be training for eight weeks, then he’d better not be distracted. Holding camp in Mexico, away from Philippine politics and show business, would surely provide him the needed concentration.

The People’s Champ, however, rather exasperatingly, assured everyone that he knows himself best. He has insisted that he knows his body, he knows his skill level and that he is in total control. He says training in Baguio and sticking to an eight-week workout schedule will prepare him for Cotto.

Cotto, although visibly slower than Pacquiao, is no pushover. He is naturally bigger and is blessed with power, particularly in his left hand. He defends very well and has proven his worth against some of the world’s best.

Compared with Oscar de la Hoya, Cotto is much younger and is expected to match Pacquiao’s stamina. He is expected to take the Pacman’s punches and must be hit several times if he is to fall.

Stamina and speed are what Pacquiao is expected to bring into the fight. He has acknowledged Cotto a formidable opponent and should not be taken lightly. He requests all his fans and followers to trust him because he knows exactly what he is doing.

Pacquiao reiterated that whatever intensity level he had in his past fights during training will be the same as he prepares for Cotto. Pacquiao asks only for prayers and the continued support of the Filipino people. He promises to climb into the ring fully prepared and properly trained.

November 14 is the date of the fight. We start counting by next week. Nothing more is left to do but to trust the world’s best pound-for-pound boxer.

Source: businessmirror.com.ph

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