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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Pacquiao departs to hype up Cotto fight

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MANILA, Philippines - Boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao leaves for the United States today for the five-city publicity tour for his Nov. 14 title fight against Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

The promo tour will start Sept. 10 with a press conference at the Yankee Stadium in New York. It will be open to the public.

The entourage, which includes Team Pacman official Mike Koncz, lawyer Franklin Gacal and probably trainer Buboy Fernandez, will proceed to Puerto Rico, then to San Francisco, Los Angeles before capping it in San Diego.

“After this tour, we’ll start training for eight weeks,” said Pacquiao in Filipino. “We will study Cotto’s style and technique.”

Cotto, however, will no not be around in the final stop of the tour in San Diego since he will go straight to his training camp in Tampa, Florida.

In his Oscar de la Hoya fight, Pacquiao launched his publicity tour in the Statue of Liberty, also in New York, while against Ricky Hatton, they kicked off their tour in Manchester, England.

The 30-year-old world pound-for-pound king, on the other hand, is expected to start training in Baguio upon his return from the US with Fernandez assuring the facilities in the City of Pines are suited for Pacquiao’s training camp.

Meanwhile, Pacquiao handed out a P1 million check to the Philippine Sportswriters Association over the weekend as seed money for the establishment of a foundation benefiting the sportswriting fraternity in the country.

He personally presented the amount to officials of the PSA during a thanksgiving party the boxing icon tendered at the Harbour View Restaurant.

Pacquiao initially made the pledge during the PSA-Annual Awards Night held earlier this year.

“I made the pledge during PSA Awards,” said Pacquiao.

PSA president Teddyvic Melendres of the Inquirer received the amount in behalf of the 60-year old media organization, the oldest in the country.

Pacquiao was named PSA Athlete of the Year in 2008 following his success in the ring that saw him beat the likes of Juan Manuel Marquez, David Diaz and the great De La Hoya.

He was likewise elevated to the PSA Hall of Fame by the organization composed of editors and sportswriters from the various national broadsheets and tabloids, making him the first Filipino athlete to be accorded such honor while still at the peak of his career.

Aside from Pacquiao, others pitching in for the PSA Foundation are Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Harry Angping and PLDT chairman and Smart Communications Inc. top honcho Manny V. Pangilinan.

Source: philstar.com

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