SOLIS  BOASTS  OF  SKILLS,  POWER  TO  STOP  PACMAN

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, APRIL 11, 2007
(STAR) Jorge Solis lived up to his role as the underdog when he arrived at the Radisson Hotel from the airport past midnight of Monday on board a taxi.

In an interview, he later said things might change by Saturday as he hopes to knock out Manny Pacquiao in their scheduled 12-rounder at the famous Alamodome.

"I’m confident. Yes, I’m confident," said Solis through Top Rank’s Ricardo Jimenez after the unbeaten fighter from Guadalajara stepped inside the lobby of the fine hotel some 30 minutes from the airport.

Solis rode the taxi with his father Aurelio and brother Ulysses, and had to pull his own luggage on the way to the elevator. But he appeared to be in high spirits, a smile hardly leaving his face.

Solis said he sparred an amazing 300 rounds in just a little over six weeks, and hoped that they’d be enough to carry him past Pacquiao, who did less than 170 in close to seven weeks.

"Yes, I think they’re enough to beat Pacquiao," he added.

At the airport, Solis told Lee Samuels of Top Rank that he intends to knock out Pacquiao.

"I’m ready to fight. I have the skills and the power to knock him out. I will use my height and reach advantage. I know how to fight from a distance," added Solis.

The 27-year-old boxer was advertised as 5’10 but appears to be shorter than that.

"I hold the pride of Mexico in these two hands," he said, raising his fists. Earlier in the day, Pacquiao worked hard at the Jesse James Gym just outside the city proper, and spent so much time signing autographs for the hundreds of fans who came to see him.

Pacquiao, according to his trainer Justin Fortune, will hold his last session at the gym on Wednesday before gracing the final presscon at the Alamodome.

"He just kept on going and going (at the gym). I had to tell him to relax. I had to tell him to take it easy and ‘bring it to the ring,’" added Fortune, a beefy Australian ex-heavyweight.

Pacquiao must have truly gone tired as he spent the whole afternoon inside his bedroom, and even skipped a quick trip to the AT&T Center where he was supposed to watch an NBA game.

"Pagod ako (I’m tired)," he said from his suite. – Abac Cordero


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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