MANILA, December 8, 2004 
(STAR) By Abac Cordero - They came face-to-face yesterday then vowed to knock each other out on Saturday.

Manny Pacquiao, the Filipino champion, and Fahsan 3K Battery, the Thai pretender, both exuded superior confidence after they staged a two-hour press preview at the hot, humid and jampacked Wild Card boxing gym in Parañaque City.

"Kung kaya tapusin di tapusin. Sa Sabado na lang," said Pacquiao as he looked forward to the scheduled 12-round, non-title bout that isn’t really expected to go the distance at the open-air venue set at The Fort in Taguig.

Fahsan is just as confident, saying he was impressed with Pacquiao’s speed but thought the Filipino boxing sensation is not in the same awesome form when he fought Mexico’s Juan Manuel Marquez to a classic 12-round draw last May.

"He said Manny has good speed but not 100 percent like against Marquez," said Jimmy Chaichotchuang, Fahsan’s manager who also acts as his interpreter.

"Boxers know it when they see it. He noticed Manny’s body and the way he sweats. He said it’s different. He said it shows that he’s not 100 percent. So, if Manny’s not that ready, then Fahsan said he will knock him out," said Jimmy.

Fahsan, who has a ring record of 44 wins, seven losses and a draw, including 23 knockouts and over 20 wins over Filipino fighters, was first to show his wares before the press, sparring for two rounds with Chaiyong Di-star, Thailand’s No. 1 Jr. bantamweight.

There was nothing much to see as he held his punches.

Then it was Pacquiao’s turn. Though he opted to work the punch mitt for four rounds with his American trainer Freddie Roach, he also did the usual shadow boxing, speed-ball, double-end bag, skipping ropes, sit-ups and stretching.

While Pacquiao was ripping the punch mitt, Fahsan watched closely at ringside, his hands resting on the ropes, at times smiling then at times looking worried, probably realizing the trouble he’s getting into.

"Hindi ako nananakot ha. Nag-eensayo lang ako," Pacquiao barked in between punches and trying to catch a glimpse of his opponent.

Briefly, the two fighters posed for photographers, then shook hands and tapped each other on the shoulder. They will meet again in tomorrow’s press conference at the Discovery Suites in Ortigas then in Friday’s official weigh-in (126 lbs) at The Fort.

Aside from sizing up his opponent on the ring, Pacquiao, at 5’6" one or two inches taller than the Thai, had a chance to watch a Fahsan match on TV against Filipino Joebar Damosmog who was knocked out on the sixth round in Thailand earlier last year.

After Fahsan left, Pacquiao (38-2-2 with 30 KOs) watched the tape with Roach, his personal trainer and childhood friend Buboy Fernandez, some members of the media, and Damosmog himself.

"Hindi ka kasi sumusuntok eh. At naubusan ka ng hangin. Kaya mo sana," Pacquiao told Damosmog, his sparring partner here in Manila, as they watched.

"He’s really open to the overhand left because he brings his jab back in too low," observed Roach, "Manny should have success with his left hand. But we’ve been working on the right hook, too. And I told Manny I’d like to see him to finish this fight with a right."

Asked if there’s any concern after watching the tape, Roach added: "The thing is Manny’s ready to go 10 rounds but if he knocks him out then he knocks him out. We’re not desperate for a one-round knockout. But it doesn’t look like there’ll be too much of a problem."

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved