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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Pacquiao admits he’s far from fighting form

NEW YORK — On the way to the gate at Hong Kong airport for the connecting flight to JFK International on Wednesday, Manny Pacquiao made a startling admission as he prepares for a five-city press tour for the November 14 fight with Miguel Cotto that kicks off at noontime Thursday at Yankee Stadium.

“Kung ngayon kami maglalaban ni Cotto, talo tayo (If Cotto and me fight today, I’d lose),” said Pacquiao in-between stopping for pictures with giggling Filipino passengers.

Of course, it’s been common knowledge that while he has yet to begin training camp, Cotto has been training in Puerto Rico the past month.

“Medyo nasa kundisyon na ang kalaban pero tayo papasok pa lang (My opponent is already feeling good in training while I haven’t started mine),” said Pacquiao, who is being joined in the tour of New York, Puerto Rico, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego.

As Cotto was sweating it out under the watchful eyes of trainer Joe Santiago and conditioning coach Phil Landman, Pacquiao was spending countless nights in front of the camera, fulfilling all his showbiz commitments so that when he enters training camp as soon as he gets back to the Philippines, there’ll be no more distractions.

Still, Pacquiao remains upbeat that eight weeks of punishment in Baguio will be more than enough to propel him past another marquee name in the sport.

“Partida ko na sa kanya na hindi pa ako nag-eensayo (I am giving him a big plus by not training early),” added Pacquiao.

Pacquiao is billeted at the Loews Regency Hotel on Park Ave., while Cotto is staying at the Le Parker Meridien on Ave. of the Americas and 57th Street.

To make it a memorable stay, Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum went to the extent of getting his flagship fighter a suite that has a piano.

Before leaving for Puerto Rico for a press conference there on Saturday, Pacquiao will drop by the New York Times office on Friday for a round-table discussion also featuring Arum and trainer Freddie Roach.

Times staffer Greg Bishop is doing a story on Pacquiao, according to publicist Lee Samuels, who has also received requests for interviews from Time magazine, Wall Street Journal and other outfits.

Source: mb.com.ph

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