PACMAN-SOLIS BOUT:  MEXICAN  CAMP  SMELLS  VICTORY

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, APRIL 13, 2007
(STAR) By Abac Cordero - Fernando Beltran, the swanky boxing promoter from Mexico, described Jorge Solis Wednesday as someone who can throw 250 punches in a single round.

But whether Solis could land them, or at least a tiny fraction of them, is the question.

"Manny Pacquiao must be prepared because he’ll be facing an opponent who throws 250 punches per round," said Beltran during the final press conference for Saturday’s showdown between Pacquiao and Solis.

"I think Solis will beat Pacquiao. I respect Manny a lot. We’re friends. But believe me, I will not put his undefeated record on the table if I knew he doesn’t have a chance against Pacquiao," added Beltran.

The young boxing promoter, who has other great Mexican fighters like Erik Morales and Jorge Arce under his wings, is confident that Solis, undefeated in 32 pro fights, is capable of beating Pacquiao (43-3-2).

"We have a very good possibility against Manny Pacquiao. Solis is undefeated and he doesn’t know how to lose. And he’s a two-time champion in Mexico in a great, great class. He’s beaten a lot of good fighters," he said.

Mike Koncz, the Canadian ring adviser of Pacquiao, threw a quick counter.

"I’m sure Jorge Solis has come prepared. But a lot of Manny Pacquiao’s opponents in the past said the same thing," said Koncz as Pacquiao listened, seated beside his trainer Justin Fortune at the presidential table.

Through an interpreter, Solis said the opportunity to face a fighter like Pacquiao doesn’t come often. And he has no plans of wasting it.

"That’s why when I heard that I was fighting Manny Pacquiao in the main event on pay-per-view I got so excited I started jumping up and down. I couldn’t sleep – not scared – but because of the excitement of it all.

"I came to San Antonio to win. As the saying goes in my hometown, I am taking home all of the marbles. I hold the pride of Mexico in my two fists. Manny’s winning streak over my countrymen will end Saturday night. Be ready Manny, no excuses," he declared.

Again, Pacquiao listened.

And when it was his turn at the microphone, the Filipino superstar was his humble self.

"Of course, he has the opportunity to win this fight," he said.

After a short pause, Pacquiao added: "But I have the opportunity, too."

This drew some cheers and laughter from the crowd.

"I’m doing my job and that’s to make people happy," the world’s best pound-for-pound fighter said. "So, even if I win or lose, as long as the people are happy then I’m happy."

On Saturday, Pacquiao will make his punches do the talking.

Notes: The Philippine flag that was paraded and waved during Manny Pacquiao’s two victories over Erik Morales will be used for this fight. According to Cris Aquino, the bubbly businessman and traditional flag-bearer in Pacquiao fights in the US, the flag is still in Las Vegas where it was kept after Pacquiao’s sensational third-round knockout of Morales last November. The flag will be hand-carried and flown to San Antonio by Arnel Mendoza, a Filipino and ex-member of the PNP’s special action force, the day before the fight. "It’s our lucky flag. We don’t need a new one," said Aquino… Bob Arum said Top Rank Promotions is trying its best to accommodate the request from the Filipino crew of Skandi Neptune, a massive Norwegian support vessel now in the middle of the North Sea. The Pinoy crewmen are hoping they could watch the fight via satellite. "We’re working on how we could put up the equipment to bring the fight to the vessel through pay-per-view," Arum said. It was the first time that Top Rank, in its many, many years in the business, has received such a request. Only for Pacquiao.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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