PACQUIAO  BREAKS  CAMPS,  HEADS  FOR  WAR

LOS ANGELES, January 17, 2006
(STAR) By Abac Cordero - Manny Pacquiao cant wait to fight Erik Morales. If only he could have his way, hed have the fight staged today.

"Only six days to go and Im very excited and wish I could fight him today," said Pacquiao who will break camp Monday after a near six-week training at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood.

Shortly after lunch, Pacquiao and his entourage, including his wife Jinkee who planed in Sunday evening, will travel to Las Vegas by land. They should be in Sin City no later than 6 p.m.

Pacquiao will ride his brand-new $67,000 Porsche Cayenne along with his wife and Rex "Wakee" Salud, a boxing promoter from Cebu and a close friend of the Pacquiaos. Edward Lura, a Pinoy based in LA, will man the wheel of the silver-gray beauty.

Morales will fly to Vegas Tuesday on board a private plane and, like Pacquiao, will only do very light workouts heading into the fight. The press conference is set Wednesday at Wynn Las Vegas and the official weigh-in on Friday, also at the same hotel.

The fight, a 12-rounder but with no title at stake, is set at the 16,000-seat Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas. The rematch between two of the worlds finest boxers is expected to be viewed by millions around the globe via pay-per-view.

Pacquiao said he is ready to fight Morales. Anyway the Mexican wants.

"Im not afraid of him. If he wants, I can fight him even without gloves," said Pacquiao in Filipino.

Pacquiao has trained for this fight at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood since Dec. 3. He has logged more than 120 rounds of sparring, and will add four more Monday morning for his last heavy workout.

Pacquiao was the overwhelming favorite when he fought and lost to Morales when they first met last March. For the rematch, he was a 7-5 favorite until Saturday when the latest odds from on-line betting station Sportsbook.com showed Morales as a 10-8 favorite.

Pacquiao is not bothered at all. In fact, he said hed rather stay as the underdog until the bell rings.

"Its okay with me. I wouldnt be surprised if the odds go up to 10-7 in his favor," Pacquiao said.

Pacquiao took it easy Sunday here in LA where the weather has continued to drop to around eight degrees Celsius. But its going to be even colder in Vegas where forecasts show the temperature coming down close to zero degrees starting Monday.

After an early-morning jog, Pacquiao had breakfast in his apartment before heading straight to the Christ the King Church where he normally hears Mass whenever hes in town.

He spent some time outside the church greeting fans, signing autographs and having pictures taken with fellow Filipinos. Then he took off, driving his Porsche, which was followed by five other vehicles carrying the other members of his team.

He drove around town, and brought the group to Glendale for an early lunch at Maxs Restaurant. Then he went back to his apartment, packed up his things, rested and picked up his wife at the airport.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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