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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Pacquiao has Cotto figured out

pacquiao vs cotto
SAN FRANCISCO — A week before he officially begins training camp in Baguio in the Philippines, Manny Pacquiao has already solved the puzzle that is Miguel Cotto as the five-city publicity tour for the Nov. 14 super fight makes a stop to the City by the Bay for a press conference at AT&T Park on Sunday.

Talking to a couple of Manila-based scribes sent here to cover the event, Pacquiao said he is overly excited to get in the ring with Cotto, the shaven-skulled banger whose World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight crown will be on the line at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

“I don’t only know what are my advantages over Cotto,” said Pacquiao, who was met at the airport by members of the L.A. Boys, made up of his basketball and dart buddies living in Hollywood. “It’s not enough for you to know your strong points but what is important is how to use them in the actual fight.”

Pacquiao, 30, regarded as boxing’s best pound-for-pound, said he doesn’t see Cotto imposing his will by bullying inside or dancing around to keep him away from punching range.

“I would welcome him if he decides to slug it out at close range and if he intends to run, I know a lot of ways how to pin him down,” said Pacquiao. “I have a feeling, though, that he will try to dance around.”

Pacquiao kicks off training camp as soon as he arrives in Manila on Thursday as top trainer Freddie Roach is scheduled to follow him on the 20th or the 21st.

Earlier in Cotto’s hometown of Caguas, Puerto Rico, Pacquiao was again mobbed by Puerto Rican fans before and after a press conference held at the Centro Bellas Artes.

“I feel flattered that even Cotto’s people love me,” said Pacquiao as he was en route to the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport in the capital city of San Juan for the 10-hour flight to San Francisco on Delta Airlines.

Even Cotto himself was very warm to Pacquiao, who was a first-time visitor to the US territory known as “La Isla del Encanto” (Island of Enchantment).

“”I would like to tell Manny Pacquiao that he is very much welcome here in Puerto Rico,” Cotto said during the flamboyant presentation held at noon before a packed crowd of 1,800.

The two were very cordial that they even sat beside each other before the start of the affair, something that photographers didn’t miss by taking pictures of the two as though they were buddies from way, way back.

Meanwhile, after the baseball game at the AT&T Park featuring the Giants and the Dodgers, Pacquiao will fly to Los Angeles for another round of media gathering at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Monday.

On Tuesday, Pacquiao will proceed to San Diego for another baseball match featuring the Padres and will take a private plane back to Los Angeles so he could catch a Cathay Pacific flight bound for Manila via Hong Kong.

Arum is Baguio-bound Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum is flying to the Philippines at the end of the month to check on the status of the training of Manny Pacquiao.

Pacquiao overheard Arum telling two Filipino writers about his plans then immediately told the Top Rank chief that he doesn’t have to worry about how to get to Baguio.

“I will send a private plane to pick you up in Manila,” said Pacquiao.

Arum was relieved because he had initially thought that he had to endure the traffic in Manila and the possibility of being inside a car for as much as seven hours.

Source: mb.com.ph

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