(STAR) By Abac Cordero - Unless Manny Pacquiao climbs the ring with one hand tied to his waist, the Filipino superstar will remain as the favorite in his Oct. 6 rematch with Marco Antonio Barrera in Las Vegas.

The latest odds coming out of Sin City placed Pacquiao, considered as the most exciting fighter in the world today, as the solid favorite over Barrera.

A few other online betting stations have their money on Pacquiao, less than seven weeks before the two warriors face each other in a rematch of their 2003 showdown won by the Filipino.

As of yesterday, has Pacquiao at –345 and Barrera at +285. This means that a $345 bet on Pacquiao only wins $100, and a $100 bet on Barrera wins $285.

Another online betting station,, placed Pacquiao at –350 and Barrera +275. The opening odds came out last month, with the 28-year-old Filipino already heavily favored.

Pacquiao, however, refused to take this as a gauge.

“Hindi ko pinapansin yang odds (I don’t care about the odds). Ang focus ko ay nasa laban sa taas ng ring. Hindi sa pustahan (I’m focused on the battle on the ring. Not on the betting),” he said.

Pacquiao’s wife, Jinkee, and their 10-month-old baby, Princess, flew from Manila to Cebu last Sunday, and are now staying with Pacquiao at the Waterfront Hotel.

Pacquiao was the underdog when he first met Barrera at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas almost four years ago. And his 11th round knockout of Barrera proved a lot of oddsmakers wrong.

Pacquiao is hell-bent in winning his coming bout, since it will set him up for a title fight with reigning champion Juan Manuel Marquez sometime next year.

“Sabik na din ako makalaban si Marquez (I’m eager to fight Marquez),” said Pacquiao the other day from Cebu where he will train before shifting to Los Angeles two weeks before the fight.

“Kaya huwag na natin bigyan ng chance si Barrera (That’s why we should not give Barrera a chance). Huwag na tayo umasa sa trilogy kay Barrera (Let’s not hope for a trilogy with Barrera),” he added.

Marquez, who survived three knockdowns in the first round to salvage a draw with Pacquiao in 2004, will stake his crown against Rocky Juarez on Sept. 15 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Marquez, like Pacquiao, is the favorite. He was listed at yesterday as a –350 favorite against Juarez who was at +250. Everybody’s hoping for a Marquez victory.

And should Pacquiao get past Barrera, the first big fight of 2008 may be sealed as early as October.

Manny’s purse still under negotiation By Joaquin Henson Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Manny Pacquiao is assured of a $2 million paycheck for his rematch against Marco Antonio Barrera in Las Vegas on Oct. 6 but his lawyer Franklin (Jeng) Gacal is negotiating for a higher guarantee and a bigger share than the 57-43 slice he was offered for all fight revenues, including pay-per-view.

Gacal is now in Las Vegas discussing final terms of the contract with Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. He flew to the US two weeks ago and is expected back as soon as he comes to terms – with Pacquiao’s go-signal, of course.

A source told The STAR yesterday the offer to Pacquiao was a 57-43 sharing “all the way” with a minimum guarantee of $2 million. The sharing will include income from ticket, merchandise and pay-per-view sales.

According to the source, Pacquiao has given Gacal the authority to negotiate a better deal. Although the fight is a co-promotion of Golden Boy and Top Rank, Gacal is talking only to Arum with regard to Pacquiao’s purse.

Arum previously said Golden Boy’s entry as a co-promoter will not affect Pacquiao’s pay as it will be Top Rank sharing income with Oscar de la Hoya’s outfit.

“It’s still not clear how much Manny will earn,” said the source. “But a $2 million guarantee is too small. Maybe, for Barrera it’s just right. someone claimed Manny has agreed to a 57-43 sharing but that’s not true. We hope Jeng is able to clear this up within the week.”

The source said Pacquiao has left the details of the negotiations to Gacal as he is now completely focused on his training in Cebu

Trainer Freddie Roach, who arrived from Los Angeles last week, said Pacquiao begins sparring tomorrow. Sparmate David Rodela, who worked with Pacquiao in his last two bouts, flew in Sunday and will alternate with another sparmate Raymundo (Sugar) Beltran to keep the Filipino icon busy in the gym. Beltran is flying in today.

Rodela and Beltran are familiar Wild Card sparmates. Rodela, 24, is unbeaten in his last six fights and has a 7-1-2 record, with four KOs. Beltran, 26, has won his last four fights, all inside two rounds, and his record is 20-3, with 12 KOs. Original sparmates Jose Sta. Ana and Urbano Antillon were scratched.

“No Manila trip in the schedule,” said Roach. “We’re getting it all done in Cebu. We’re working hard and Manny’s in good shape and on schedule.”

Pacquiao’s wife Jinkee arrived in Cebu the other day from Manila.

“There are less distractions in Cebu than Manila,” said Rex (Wakee) Salud, owner of the newly renovated facility in Punta Princesa, Labangon, where Pacquiao works out daily. “There are no TV shows inviting him to guest. It’s all business in the gym.”

Pacquiao said he will train in Cebu with Roach and his sparring imports until three weeks before the fight.

Meanwhile, Pacquiao’s former manager Shelly Finkel sent an e-mail from the US predicting a knockout win over Barrera.

“Manny’s pride will not allow him to be anything but superior,” said Finkel. “He will be victorious by stoppage. He will find a way to block or solve his problems and train to win.”

Finkel described Pacquiao as “a very special person” whom he learned a lot from when they worked together as a team. “Manny has that special quality that separates the great from the good,” said Finkel. “He is one of the greats.”

As for Golden Boy matchmaker Sampson Lewkowicz’ suggestion for a blockbuster fight between Pacquiao and WBO interim lightweight champion Michael Katsidis, Finkel said considering a jump to the 135-pound division may be premature.

“A little too early for Manny to be thinking lightweight and Katsidis has to build his name first,” said Finkel. “Let Manny beat Barrera then the winner of Marquez-Juarez then the winner of Soto-Guzman. After that, he can talk lightweight and see then where Katsidis is.”

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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