PACQUIAO  SETS  TRAINING  FOR  BARRERA  DUEL  OCTOBER  6  IN  LAS  VEGAS

MANILA, JULY 2, 2007
(STAR) By Abac Cordero - Under a clear atmosphere, Manny Pacquiao said he couldn’t wait to get to the gym and gear up for an Oct. 6 rematch with Marco Antonio Barrera at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

Over the phone, the flamboyant boxer from Gen. Santos City yesterday said he plans to start getting back in shape in two weeks, and begin training in the US by the end of the month.

He sounded excited.

“It’s Barrera that’s why. I need to train long and hard,” said the 28-year-old boxer tentatively scheduled to leave for the US on Tuesday for a previous commitment.

If plans push through, the Filipino superstar will have two full months to train for Barrera. His trainer, Freddie Roach, said he wants Pacquiao to report to the Wild Card Gym first day of August.

“We must be ready,” Pacquiao told The STAR.

Details of the coming fight, to be jointly promoted by Top Rank and Golden Boy, are still being worked out, and Pacquiao said his purse remains to be figured out.

“We haven’t talked about it,” he said in Filipino.

Asked how much he expects to get for his rematch with Barrera, Pacquiao said it shouldn’t go any lower than $3 million to $4 million, excluding shares in pay-per-view, TV rights and merchandise.

“It shouldn’t go lower than that,” said the prized fighter of Top Rank.

An insider said Pacquiao could get as much as $6 million (P276 million), while Barrera, turning 34 in January, is good for $3.5 million.

While in the US, Pacquiao is also expected to meet with people from Top Rank and Golden Boy, which recently agreed to settle their differences outside of the court.

They’ve agreed that Pacquiao fights against boxers from Golden Boy will be co-promoted by Top Rank and Golden Boy. If it’s Pacquiao against a boxer outside of the Golden Boy stable, it will be promoted by Top Rank, with the latter carrying some interest.

The settlement opened a lot of windows for Pacquiao. Now he can look at big fights, and bigger paychecks, involving boxers from Golden Boy – like Barrera, Juan Manuel Marquez, Edwin Valero, Joan Guzman plus a few more.

“I’m happy with what’s happening,” he said.

Asked about the prospects of him joining the list of Filipino billionaires in three years, Pacquiao laughed over the phone.

“Is that so?” he said – again laughing.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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