Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Pacman flawless in final workout

MANNY Pacquiao looked flawless in his final workout at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles on Monday, before taking the flight to Dallas, Texas aboard a specially chartered plane, along with his wife Jinkee and a planeload of 160 people.

Pacquiao and his entourage arrived in Dallas late Monday night, thrilled at the sight of the Pacman’s photo and logo on the seats of the plane, as well as the cups in the flight. Pacquiao and Jinkee checked in at his spacious suite at the Gaylord Hotel.

ABS-CBN’s Dyan Castillejo, who was with the team, said the Filipino icon, who battles Ghana’s Joshua Clottey on March 13, was “really excited.”

She quoted trainer Freddie Roach as saying that after four rounds of sparring with Raymund Beltran and some furious flurries on the punch mitts before leaving for Dallas, Pacquiao was “the best I’ve ever seen him.”

Castillejo reported that Pacquiao was aggressive and sensational on the punch-mitts, and by all accounts looked ripped and ready for the performance of his life at the $1.2 billion Dallas Cowboys Stadium of owner Jerry Jones, who is determined to make it the Mecca of boxing in this decade.

Roach indicated he and conditioning expert Alex Ariza had to hold Pacquiao back because they didn’t want to burn him out.

“Pacquiao normally averages 150 rounds of sparring, but will average around 100 rounds for this fight,” said Roach.

Clottey’s 1st KO loss

The celebrated trainer revealed that the more he watched Clottey, as well as Pacquiao, “the more confident I get that Manny will be the first person to knock Clottey out. I like Clottey, he is a nice kid and I don’t want to talk trash about him, but it’s just my feeling and I am very confident of my fighter.”

Roach said Pacquiao has studied the game plan. “He knows how to fight this guy. He’s watched the tapes now, not just 30 seconds when he gets bored and walks away. He sees the effect.”

Clottey, who arrived ahead of Pacquiao, looked comfortable as he checked out the ring at the Gaylord Hotel, where a fight card bannered by Filipino boxers Richie Mepranum and Dennis Laurente, will be held on the eve of The Event.

Two more Filipinos—Eden Sonsona and Michael Farenas—will be on the undercard of the Pacquiao-Clottey fight.

Clottey didn’t seem bothered by Roach’s prediction of a knockout win by Pacquiao, believing in his own ability to take a punch.

“I have a good chin and we African fighters take a lot of punches, but I have a good chin. I never expect myself to get in the ring to get knocked out. I never expect that. No,” said Clottey.

The challenger’s game plan

Clottey’s fight plan is to use his size to overcome the smaller Pacquiao, who may well enter the ring on fight night giving away at least 10 pounds in weight to the challenger, who some expect to come in around 160 pounds.

Trainer Lenny De Jesus, however, told Standard Today, he wants to send Clottey into the ring at around 155 pounds.

However, Clottey seems to have other plans. “I will be stronger than him because after the weigh-in, I am going to eat and I am going to blow up.”

Clottey said he hasn’t felt better. “This is the best I felt. It started when I went to Africa, where I was training on the beach. I came to America, went to Florida and we went to the beach all the time. So I was training a lot.”

Clottey’s manager Vinny Scolpino and trainer de Jesus, who worked in Pacquiao’s corner for six fights and ended his ties when Shelly Finkel took over as the Filipino’s promoter, both realized that Clottey probably lost a fight he should have won against Miguel Cotto because he didn’t throw too many punches in the last two rounds. This is something they say they have corrected.


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