BOXING:  MORALES  HAUNTED BY LOSS WANTS REVENGE

MANILA, March 24, 2006
(BULLETIN) By nick giongco - ERIK MORALES has nobody in mind to face in his comeback bout other than Manny Pacquiao.

More than two months after suffering the most devastating defeat of his career, Morales told the website box-latino which he owns that the rubber match with Pacquiao will take place in September or October this year as he dispelled reports that he will opt for a tuneup fight before slugging it out with the Filipino.

"When I return to the ring, it would be against Manny Pacquiao in the US," said Morales, who was stopped in the tenth round at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas.

In preparation for the highly-anticipated third fight with Pacquiao, Morales said he will just rest and spend a lot of time with his loved ones before heading to training camp.

Morales’ statements run in contrast to what his father and long-time trainer Jose "Olivaritos" Morales said last week when pressed for answers concerning the future of his accomplished son.

If he can only have his way, the senior Morales would like to see "El Terrible" to fight two more times -- against handpicked foes -- before calling it quits to preserve his reputation.

Morales, 29, had beaten Pacquiao, 26, on points in March 2005.

Unlike the Mexican, Pacquiao has decided to keep busy as details of his 10-round battle with Oscar Larios are scheduled to be ironed out during the weekend with the arrival of his US management team today from Los Angeles via Philippine Airlines.

Planing in are Pacquiao’s managers Shelly Finkel and Nicholas Khan and trainer Freddie Roach, who would be the guests of honor during this afternoon’s inauguration of a unit at the 14th floor of the Tektite Tower in Pasig that will serve as the nerve center of the fighter’s own promotional outfit, MP Promotions.

Meanwhile, Pacquiao has gone back home after spending a few days at the Cardinal Santos Hospital in San Juan after suffering from stress.

"He remains under custody," joked his right-hand man Wakee Salud. "He has been advised to rest and refrain from spending too many late-nights. He has also been told to cut down on extra-curricular activities for the meantime."

The fight with Larios is being penciled for either late-June or early-July and Pacquiao said he will start training in May under Roach’s watchful eyes.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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