MANNY: I WILL WIN  /  MORALES: HE DOESN'T HAVE 'IT' TO KNOCK ME OUT

LAS VEGAS, January 20, 2006
(MALAYA) TWO-time champion Manny Pacquiao claimed he has prepared for every punch Erik Morales has in his arsenal. The question is whether he had prepared some punches of his own.

Pacquiao said on Wednesday he and his camp had prepared for Morales’ powerful jabs, straights and everything else the Mexican can throw at him when they face off anew in a WBC super featherweight eliminator Saturday (Sunday in Manila) at the Thomas and Mack Center here.

"This time we’re prepared for his jab and his straight. We prepared for everything. On Saturday night I will give him a fight, and I will win," Pacquiao said during a press conference hyping the fight. It will be the second meeting between the two; Morales won by unanimous decision March last year.

Pacquiao also said his camp underestimated Morales in their first fight, adding the fact that Morales is coming off a loss will not be a big disadvantage.

"I think we underestimated Morales (in) the first fight. We think I beat Barrera, and Barrera beat Morales, but that is not true," said Pacquiao.

"Our mistake was comparing the Barrera fight (with the fight against Morales), but this time we know even with Morales losing to (Zahir) Raheem it does not mean anything," added Pacquiao.

"I don’t think I have an advantage because he is coming off a loss. I think he wants to recover his name, he wants to win this fight."

Pacquiao scored a sixth-round TKO over Hector Velasquez in a non-title fight last year while Morales bowed to Zahir Raheem in his first lightweight bout.

The Pacquiao camp also denied earlier reports he injured his left forearm during training.

Pacquiao, 27, will wear his preferred Reyes gloves. He had claimed using another pair of gloves (Cleto Reyes) in the first fight dampened down his usually powerful punches.

"Regardless of Manny’s distractions during the first fight, the gloves, the rooms, the promoter and the cut, I believe Morales won the first fight. I’m not complaining about that," said Pacquiao’s chief trainer, Freddie Roach.

"We’re ready to go 12 rounds, Manny Pacquiao will be the difference this time. Not Cleto Reyes," added Roach.

Critics have said that whether Pacquiao uses Reyes gloves or not, if he remains one-handed and uses his right as a mere range finder, the result would be the same. Morales also criticized Pacquiao’s excuses after their last fight and on Wednesday said the Filipino southpaw is not a technical fighter and doesn’t have the power to bring him down.

"I’m prepared for this fight, I feel ready, I feel even better than last time," Morales said. "We’ve done great work, great preparation both mental and physical. I’ve had no problem with my weight; I’m probably a pound or pound and half over right now.

"Everyone had been saying how he has been knocking all these guys out and putting them down. In the first round when he hit me, I figured out that this guy wasn’t really that strong and he didn’t have the kind of punch to knock me out," said Morales.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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