(STAR) By Abac Cordero - Manny Pacquiao has finally learned to slow down – three days before the big fight.

"It’s been very hard to slow him down the past week," according to Mike Koncz, the Canadian ring adviser of the tireless, energetic Pinoy champ.

"But now he’s slowing down. I think he’s about 95 to 96 percent as to when he fought Erik Morales last year. Probably a little sharper, too," added Koncz.

Tuesday was the last hard day at the gym for Pacquiao who did four rounds of mitts with trainer Justin Fortune and the usual stuff that makes him sweat a bucket for two hours.

"Yesterday (Wednesday) was a very light workout. He trained, he sweated and he had fun. He was easy, relaxed and had some laugh with Fortune on the ring. And some horse play," said Koncz.

Pacquiao took a little run around the Radisson Hotel Thursday morning and was scheduled to do a satellite interview for the TV press in the afternoon. A short trip to the gym was also on tap.

Fortune said Pacquiao weighed two-and-a-half pounds over the 130-lb limit Wednesday evening, but the Australian trainer sees no reason to worry.

The official weigh-in is scheduled 2 p.m. Friday at Alamodome, and Pacquiao, according to Fortune, should weigh in at around 129 lbs.

"Maybe after he sweats up later he’ll get the weight. Manny still eats three meals a day and it’s just unbelievable," said Fortune Thursday morning at the press center.

"We’ll go to the gym later. But there’ll be no bag work. Just the ropes, double-end bag and some shadow boxing. No more hard stuff," he added.

Fortune, a stocky ex-heavyweight who had the heart to fight then champion Lennox Lewis, said what’s important is for Pacquiao to just break his sweat and make sure he makes weight.

"It will keep him from getting bored," added Fortune who believes that Pacquiao is getting just enough rest in spite of regular visits of friends and supporters to his suite.

"Yeah, I think he’s getting enough rest. The (curfew) sign is up on the door. And when Manny wants to rest he makes it known to everyone," said Fortune.

Notes: Monico Meneses, the first and only Filipino to serve the 1,950-strong San Antonio Police Department, has finally met his idol, Manny Pacquiao. Meneses, whose victory in the 2001 National Defense Shooting Championships here earned him the monicker ‘Top Gun’ in the SAPD, was at the Jesse James Leija Gym the last two days to watch Pacquiao train. Still in the service, he presented Pacquiao an authentic SAPD shirt, and the boxer liked it. Meneses was already a cop in Texas when Pacquiao faced Marco Antonio Barrera in 2003. ‘At an average day then, I get around 15 calls while on patrol. And these range from accidents to domestic fights and petty crimes. But on that day of 2003, I only got three calls. I think even the bad guys took a break to see that fight,’ he recalled. Since that day his colleagues called him the ‘Pacquiao Man,’ and he’s not complaining. ‘Eh kababayan ko eh (He’s my countryman),’ he said. You might see this short, brown and stocky officer escorting Pacquiao out of his dressing room on Saturday – if his superiors approve his request for an off-duty... Chock-Bee, a popular Filipino-Korean restaurant here, has prepared something special for Saturday. It’s called the ‘Pacquiao’s Buffet Menu’ consisting of 16 Filipino dishes, including the famous lechon, kare-kare, sinigang na baboy, dinuguan, kaldereta, halabos na sugpo, pinakbet, steamed rice and desserts like leche flan and halo-halo. Here’s the catch: for $9.99 or P480, you get to watch and enjoy the Pacquiao fight with your countrymen via pay-per-view. ‘Sana pumunta si Pacquiao dito. Madami kaming pagkain (I hope Pacquiao drops by. We have lots of food),’ said the Pinay owner who’s married to a Korean. The place is expected to be jampacked on fight night. There’s one downside though: no liquor allowed...It’s Geneva Cruz, and not Regine Velasquez, who will sing the national anthem at the Alamodome.

No time to worry about time The Philippine Star 04/14/2007

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – The time difference, hopefully, won’t make a difference when Manny Pacquiao faces Jorge Solis at the Alamodome on Saturday.

The fight, the last of nine scheduled for the night, will be staged at 11 p.m. (San Antonio time) because it’s 9 p.m. in the West Coast, which represents a big chunk of the pay-per-view viewers.

It’ll be noon of Sunday in Manila when Pacquiao climbs the ring for the first time this year.

"There’s no concern about that," said Pacquiao’s trainer, Justin Fortune, of the time difference.

"That’s why we’ve adjusted his time of training to later in the day since we got here. But two hours (the time difference between Los Angeles and San Antonio) is just two hours," he said.

In Pacquiao’s camp, there’s just no time to worry about time. –Abac Cordero

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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