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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pacquiao welcomed like a rock star in Las Vegas

pacquiao vs cotto
LAS VEGAS – Even before their 12-round title fight, Manny Pacquiao has already upstaged Miguel Cotto, the defending World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion.

The Filipino boxing superstar was no doubt, the star of the show when the two fighters formally arrived at the MGM Grand Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila), with cameras clicking and videos rolling while Pacquiao and his entourage that included trainer Freddie Roach were being led from the entrance door into the makeshift ring at the center of the building.

Chants of “Manny! Manny! Manny!" and placards bearing the words “Pacman, Pound-for-Pound King!" were all over the place as people gathered around to see a glimpse of the boxing superstar from the Philippines, never mind that he arrived 30 minutes late for the appointed time of the reception arranged by Top Rank Promotions.

An hour later, it was the turn of Cotto and his associates to be greeted at the hotel lobby. The impact of their arrival, however, was not the same.

But Cotto is unfazed with it.

“I expected it to be like this. Everything Manny has, he has earned," said Cotto without any hint of disgust.

Besides, the Puerto Rican champion stressed, come fight night it would only be him and the Pacman inside the ring.

“It’s going to be just Manny, Miguel Cotto and the referee inside the ring," said Cotto, who scored a split decision win over Joshua Clottey in his last WBO title defense last June at the Madison Square Garden in New York.

“Nobody can come and give anything to Manny."

Pacquiao said he’s happy with all the adulation being given him as among the faces of boxing today and the universally acknowledged top pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

“I’m happy for that and understand this is part of it all," said Pacquiao during the 15-minute question-and-answer portion he had with members of the press at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Geared up

But hero worship aside, Pacquiao, who was welcomed amidst a Filipiniana-type atmosphere, said he’s all geared up for the Cotto bout.

“I’m, right now, ready to go," he said. “I believe in myself. I don’t want to say anything before the fight, but will wait until we meet in the ring.

“My motivation? I am fighting for the people who love boxing."

Unlike the cheerful approach of Pacquiao, Cotto was more combative.

A 2000 Sydney Olympian, Cotto said he’s ready to offset the speed Pacquiao is going to bring into the ring.

“I’m prepared for the speed of Manny," he said. “I have equal hand speed and prepared well with my sparring partners.

“I’m prepared for anything. We have the key to the fight," said Cotto. “Our camp has made the difference." - GMANews.TV

Source: gmanews.tv

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