PACMAN  ROOTS  FOR  PEÑALOZA
 
GENERAL SANTOS CITY, MARCH 13, 2007
(STAR) By Abac Cordero - Gerry Peñalosa might just get his wish that Manny Pacquiao be at ringside when the former faces the biggest battle of his life this Sunday (Manila time) in Las Vegas.

Peñalosa, the former WBC super-flyweight champion, will face the younger, stronger and heavier Daniel Ponce de Leon for the WBO super-bantamweight crown.

Because of this fight, Pacquiao plans to push his March 17 departure for Los Angeles a day ahead, so he could fly straight to Vegas and catch Peñalosa, a dear friend, in action.

Then Pacquiao can fly to LA the morning after, rest the whole day and begin the final phase of his training on Monday.

"This is for the world title. I want to be there for Gerry," said Pacquiao, adding that he would even go way beyond than just being at ringside – if indeed he leaves on Friday.

"I will place my money on Gerry. He’s the 1-10 underdog. I know Gerry. And I’m putting $50,000 on him. Even $100,000. And if he wins?" said Pacquiao with a wink.

Peñalosa has trained long and hard for this fight, spending countless hours at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood. He knows that this could will be his last crack at a world title.

Pacquiao is himself gearing up for two big battles – one in San Antonio, Texas on April 14, and another in South Cotabato for the May 14 elections.

But he would rather no talk about his scheduled 12-rounder against undefeated Mexican Jorge Solis at the Alamodome, the site of his breakthrough win over Marco Antonio Barrera in 2003.

Pacquiao just smiled when asked how he views Solis whom he had seen fighting only on video tape, only last week, and only for less than five minutes.

"He‘s okay," said Pacquiao.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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