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Friday, September 25, 2009

Pacquiao’s focus main concern for Roach

BAGUIO CITY — As if Miguel Cotto's left hook isn’t dangerous enough, trainer Freddie Roach also worries about how to keep Manny Pacquiao’s focus for his November 14 fight in Las vegas.

“There are too many distractions. Everybody wants a piece of Manny Pacquiao,” said Roach, who has banned all talks about politics while the Filipino ring icon trains at the Shape Up Boxing gym here.

But during the courtesy call on Baguio Mayor Reinaldo Bautista Jr. at City Hall on Thursday, Pacquiao was mobbed by reporters and employees and the question about his political plans cropped up.

“I have decided to run in the next elections and I’m willing to leave boxing,” said Pacquiao in Filipino.

But he quickly added that foremost in his mind is his coming showdown with World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Cotto.

“I have nothing else to prove,” he said.

There is, however, the much vaunted fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. waiting for Pacquiao supposedly in March to decide who’s the real pound-for-pound champion.

March also is in the middle of the campaign period if Pacquiao is set to run in the 2010 elections.

Roach is already excited about the Mayweather fight but insists Pacquiao should be rewarded well in that encounter.

“I have no problem fighting him. But if he thinks he’s going to get equal money with Pacquiao, he’s crazy,” Roach said of Mayweather.

“We already have a perfect game plan,” he added.

Meanwhile Pacquiao said that he is pursuing his defamation suit against Mayweather’s father, Floyd Sr., for saying that Pacquiao used steroids.

“He has probably lost his mind,” Pacquiao said of Mayweather Sr.

“He must have been embarrassed,” he added, regarding the successive losses of his wards against Pacquiao.

Other than political distraction, Roach has closed the gym to the public and the media so Pacquiao can concentrate on his training against Cotto.

Other aspects of the Mayweather fight may be cleared up when boxing promoter Bob Arum, founder and chair of Top Rank, Inc., comes to Baguio on Oct. 1.

Pacquiao will be in Manila on Sunday to attend the wake of Rodolfo Nazario, whom he considers as “his loving friend, father and manager.”

Meanwhile, Mayweather has reclaimed his position atop the monthly Yahoo! Sports pound-for-pound rankings, according to Kevin Iole on his coumnn on Sept. 24.

Mayweather reportedly earned 266 points and gained 15 of the 28 first-place votes by virtue of his unanimous decision victory over Juan Manuel Marquez recently. Pacquiao received 13 first-place votes and gained 265 points.

Source: inquirer.net

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