PACMAN-SOLIS  BOUT:  ROACH  SEES  FIGHT  OVER  IN  9,  FORTUNE  SAYS  IN  6

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, APRIL 12, 2007
(STAR) By Abac Cordero – Justin Fortune, the man in charge, said the fight wouldn’t last more than six rounds. Freddie Roach, from Puerto Rico, said it wouldn’t go past nine.

Who’s right or wrong, however, wouldn’t really matter as long as these two boxing gurus believe that Manny Pacquiao will come out the big winner on Saturday.

"I think it wouldn’t go over six rounds. And if Jorge Solis runs, then it’s going to be some hard six rounds," said Fortune Tuesday evening when asked for some forecast.

Fortune, an Australian who once fought heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis, has been in charge of Pacquiao’s training for the past four weeks since Roach is away.

And he’s done a very good job.

Roach, Pacquiao’s chief handler since 2001, is in Puerto Rico handling the training of Oscar dela Hoya for a May 5 showdown with Floyd Mayweather Jr.

"Manny is in good shape and he will take care of business," he told philboxing.com in an interview from Puerto Rico. He added that the fight shouldn’t last nine rounds.

He said he’d be in Pacquiao’s corner for the fight.

Mike Koncz, Pacquiao’s Canadian ring adviser, said whether the fight lasts one or 10 rounds "it will be an interesting one."

Fortune believes that Solis, a legitimate featherweight (126 lbs), trained hard for the fight set at the Alamodome.

"He has to. This is Pacquiao he’s facing. If you don’t train hard, you’re gonna get killed. Manny is too strong at 130 pounds," added Fortune, who only has one concern coming into the fight.

"My only concern is if Manny trips on his way up the ring," he said.

Fortune and Roach believe that Pacquiao is just too quick and too strong for Solis, undefeated in 32 fights but has never really been tested against a fighter like Pacquiao.

Fortune said Pacquiao weighed 132 pounds Tuesday morning and is just two pounds over the weight limit.

"Tomorrow we’ll weigh him again using the official scale. But he’s okay. At 132, he skips one meal and he gets the weight. He never has gone over the weight," said Fortune.

Notes: Filipino fight fans from as far as Houston drove more than 200 miles to San Antonio just to get a glimpse of their ring idol working out at the Jesse James Leija Gym outside the city proper. And they weren’t disappointed. Manny Pacquiao just loves it when his fans are around, as he often puts on a show during training. For most fans, clicking away with their digital cameras and cellular phones, it’s already quite an experience seeing Pacquiao train. "Can’t make it to the fight so I made sure I’d make it to practice," said one.... Bernabe Concepcion, a promising 19-year-old fighter from the Philippines, will defend his WBC World Youth in the 122-lb division on Saturday against Houston’s Benjamin Flores at the Alamodome. Concepcion trained alongside Pacquiao at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles, and has made a very good impression on his fellow Filipino. "This is the next star of the Philippines," Pacquiao had told media men here.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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