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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Manny shifts focus at last, flies to US

MANILA, Philippines - It's back to boxing at last for superstar Manny Pacquiao.

Having completed most of his show business and political commitments, the Filipino pound-for-pound king will leave Wednesday for New York City to promote his showdown with Puerto Rican WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto on Nov. 14 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao and Cotto will meet at the new Yankee Stadium on Thursday (Friday in Manila) in the initial stop of the busy five-city swing in the United States and Puerto Rico.

From New York, Pacquiao and his entourage will fly to Cotto’s hometown in Caguas, where the Puerto Rican slugger trained initially for his title defense.

Pacquiao and Cotto, who will clash at a catch weight of 145 pounds, are also slated to appear at the AT&T Park in San Francisco during an intermission in the Major League baseball game between the Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The fighters will then proceed to Beverly Hills in Los Angeles on Sept. 14, after which they will part ways.

Pacquiao, the early 2-1 favorite to claim his sixth official world crown, concludes his whirlwind appearance in the US at the Petco Park in San Diego on Sept. 15, during the game featuring the San Diego Padres and the Arizona Diamondbacks.

He is expected to return to Manila the next day to take a brief rest and to wrap up his commitments before starting his training in Baguio City.

Cotto, who has been whipping himself into shape since Aug. 3, will proceed to Tampa, Florida, where he will hold training camp for the megabuck pay-per-view bout.

Though Pacquiao has yet to start his preparations, he told sportswriters on Friday that he feels fine at 150 lb and that the remaining eight weeks will be enough for him to hit peak form.

Source: inquirer.net

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