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Friday, November 6, 2009

Pacquiao-Cotto bout a 50-50 affair, says Rourke

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HOLLYWOOD – Mickey Rourke has been a disciple of trainer par excellence Freddie Roach and is known to be chummy with boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao.

But when asked of his thoughts about Pacquiao’s 12-round title fight against Miguel Cotto for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight belt, the American actor and Academy award nominee said things are going to be even.

“It’s 50-50," Rourke shot back when pressed on who he favored to win the bout.

A one-time boxer in the early 90s who had no less than Roach for trainer, Rourke came over at the Wild Card gym here coinciding with the two-hour long media workout of the 30-year old Pacquiao.

The 57-year old Rourke, whose portrayal of Randy “The Ram" Robinson in the 2008 movie “The Wrestler" earned him an Oscar Best Actor nomination, shook hands and had a pleasant conversation with Roach, and later on, had a photo op with Pacquiao while the pound-for-pound king was in training.

But he appeared less gracious when his thoughts about the WBO championship fight were raised.

Rourke said Pacquiao beating Cotto is not as easy as learning A-B-C.

“I don’t think Cotto would be a walk in the park," said the veteran actor. “He’s gonna be strong. Cotto is the bigger fighter and a very good fighter."

However, one thing going for Manny, according to him, is the Filipino superstar’s vaunted speed.

“Speed would be able to offset Cotto’s power. Speed is more important than power. Manny has got to stay away from Cotto’s range since he (Cotto) can bang with both hands," Rourke said.

Rourke knows where he’s speaking from.

After briefly staying away from acting in 1991, Rourke relived his love for the sport of prizefighting by turning pro under Roach’s watchful eyes.

He was undefeated in eight fights with two of them ending up in draw.

“I would have lost if I haven’t had Freddie, coz my training habit wasn’t that good," he said of his short-lived boxing career.

Rourke would quit boxing soon after, giving to Roach all his equipment that can still be found now at the Wild Card gym.

“He’s my best friend. I wouldn’t be here now (Wild Card gym). He’s the one who brought me here," said Roach in acknowledging all the help Rourke did while the three-time Trainer of the Year was still starting off with his famous sweatshop at Vine St.

Given the chance, Rourke said he’s more than willing to accept a role should a Hollywood movie on Pacquiao be made.

And he already had an idea on who is he going to play.

“I would do the Freddie roach story but I would have to wait 20 years from now," he said, teasing Roach as being too old for him to play. – GMANews.TV

Source: gmanews.tv

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