PACMAN  READY  EVEN  IF  FIGHT  IS  TOMORROW

MANILA, SEPTEMBER 23, 2007
(STAR) By Abac Cordero - As he was wrapping up his training yesterday, Manny Pacquiao took off his shirt, posed like a bodybuilder then declared his readiness to fight Marco Antonio Barrera – as soon as possible.

“I’m ready. If he wants we can fight tomorrow,” Pacquiao said as fans, friends and media packed the Wild Card Gym in Parañaque during his last day of training in the Philippines.

“I’ve done my best in training. I’m ready,” added Pacquiao, set to leave for the US last night with an entourage that includes trainers Freddie Roach and Buboy Fernandez.

Pacquiao trained on and off in the first two weeks of August then went all out, all the way the moment he was joined by Roach and two Mexican sparring partners in Cebu City.

Pacquiao is now in his fighting form, with a chiseled body that seems ready for some ultimate fighting. With still two weeks left, he’s at 132.5 lbs – just a few meals off the 130 lb limit.

“You won’t believe but I can still eat what I want, as much as I want. The diet starts later on. I don’t know with Barrera if he’s having problems with his weight. I don’t,” he said.

Pacquiao worked out for two hours shortly after noon, and coming off a well-attended press conference attended by top officials of GMA-7 and Solar Sports at The Fort.

Before cooling down inside the ring, Pacquiao noticed the presence of his wife Jinkee who came in with twin sister Janet, to accompany the boxer to a mid-afternoon TV appearance.

“So, here’s my lovely wife. Don’t I deserve a kiss?” said Pacquiao as the crowd cheered and egged him on. He got what he wanted then resumed with his stretching exercises.

Jinkee said she didn’t want to make any predictions for the night, but said since Pacquiao had knocked out Barrera in their first fight, there’s no reason why it can’t be done again.

After a brief rest and a quick bite, Pacquiao and company left the gym on convoy of top-of-the-line SUVs. The crowd saw them off, wishing Pacquiao luck for his coming fight.

The boxer vowed to give his best, then dropped his latest slogan: “Ang mamatay ng dahil sa’yo (To die for you).”

Roach approach: Start fast and finish him fast Sunday, September 23, 2007

(STAR) Freddie Roach yesterday said he’d take a Manny Pacquiao victory over Marco Antonio Barrera in any form – by way of a quick knockout or a long, drawn-out decision.

“I do believe that we will get him somewhere along the way. It wouldn’t surprise me if we knock him out early,” said Roach as the big rematch draws closer and closer.

“Because I’m gonna have Manny, if I’ll have my way of course, to start very fast in this fight,” said the two-time Trainer of the Year who would, of course, opt for a knockout.

Pacquiao broke into worldwide prominence when he dealt Barrera the first and only knockout loss of his career in their 2003 showdown in San Antonio, Texas.

“I want him (Barrera) to remember the 11th round of the last fight right away. We’re gonna start quick. If we fight a fast pace, he wouldn’t last,” Roach hoped for.

Asked if he’d be disappointed with a decision, Roach said, “It depends on how it goes I would say. I wouldn’t be too disappointed. But don’t say Barrera can’t pull it off though.”

At first, Roach sounded surprised when he said Pacquiao is a hundred percent ready.

“I thought that with all these movies and stuff he’d be distracted. But when he comes to the gym he really starts working. When he gets into that ring,” he works.

“And he’s light at around 132 pounds. Yeah, I think for a while it’s been the lightest Manny’s been to heading toward a fight. He’s got a great work ethic. Everything is a hundred percent,” he said.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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