Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pacquiao Honors Injured Friend, Fighter 'Z' Gorres

Even as a focused Manny Pacquiao entered the ring at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas for an eventual 12th-round knockout of Miguel Cotto, the seven-division champion's thoughts drifted to fellow Filipino fighter ZC "Z" Oliveros Gorres, who lay struggling for his life on a hospital bed as a result of injuries suffered in a bout 24 hours earlier.

The 27-year-old Gorres, who, like Pacquiao, is a southpaw, collapsed in the ring after having put the finishing touches on a one-sided, 10-round unanimous decision victory over Luis Melendez at the nearby Mandalay Bay Hotel.

Gorres (31-2-2, 17 knockouts) was discovered to have suffered a blood clot in his brain. He underwent two major surgeries on his skull at Las Vegas' University Medical Center.

Although Gorres is now walking and talking as part of his recovery, he will never fight again.

"It is a miracle that he is OK, but he is a fighter and a friend," said Pacquiao. "That's why I want to help him, and we are going to do some sort of event for him in Las Vegas very soon."

Pacquiao (50-3-2, 38 knockouts) spoke to FanHouse on Monday night from Texas, shortly after landing there in preparation for a Tuesday press conference at Cowboys Stadium, where he will make the first defense of his WBO crown against Joshua Clottey (35-3, 20 KOs) of Accra, Ghana, on March 13.

The event was attended by Dallas Cowboys' owner, Jerry Jones, as well as Top Rank promoter, Bob Arum, who handles both Pacquiao and Clottey.

On Wednesday, the press tour will take Pacquiao and Clottey to New York's Madison Square Garden. Their clash will be televised on HBO pay-per-view.

"We're going to hold a fundraiser for Z Gorres in Las Vegas at the Wynn Hotel, although we haven't picked a date yet," said Michael Koncz, Pacquiao's adviser, who arrived in New York with the champion on Sunday night from the Philippines.

"The arrangements will be made through [Top Rank Promoter] Bob Arum's office, and the money that we'll be raising will go to his personal account in the Philippines," said Koncz. "We've known Z a long time. Not only is Z Gorres a boxer under Manny Pacquiao Promotions, but he's a personal friend of Manny's."

After the press tour, Pacquiao will begin preparing for Clottey with trainer Freddie Roach at his Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif.

The 32-year-old Clottey will be the largest opponent Pacquiao will have faced. Pacquiao's bouts with Cotto and Oscar de La Hoya were fought at catch weights of 145 pounds; Pacquiao will face the muscular challenger at the 147-pound welterweight ceiling.

"He's going to be a tough opponent. He's strong, and a good fighter and bigger than me. So I'm training hard for this fight, and we're going to study him hard," said Pacquiao. "We're basically studying for his bullying style. We'll have enough time to learn and study some techniques that we can use in the fight."


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