MANNY AT 133LBS, UNSHAVEN, GAUNT, HUNGRY, THIRSTY FOR FIGHT
LOS ANGELES, MARCH 6, 2008 (STAR) By Abac Cordero – At 133 lbs, unshaven, a little gaunt, Manny Pacquiao looks hungry, thirsty for a fight.
He said on a cold Tuesday here, after a heavy workout at the Wild Card Gym, that he can’t wait for the fight to happen.
It’s just 10 days before he climbs the ring against Juan Manuel Marquez in an attempt to win a third world title, this time in the super-featherweight class.
“I have no fear. I’m excited to finish the unfinished business,” he said before boarding his black Mercedes on his way back to his posh apartment unit in La Brea.
The fight, dubbed “Unfinished Business,” is a sequel to their 2004 showdown at MGM, one that ended in a very controversial draw after Marquez went down thrice right in the opening round.
Before a limited crowd, Pacquiao sparred eight rounds, four each against Mexicans Juanito Garcia and Ramon Montano, raising his total to more than 130 rounds.
Then he did a whole lot more, spending more than an hour killing the heavy bag, and working on the speed ball, double-end, rope, and his chiseled, rock-hard abs.
He’s been doing this for almost two months now, a regimen which he said would easily top the ones he had for his previous fights both here in the US and back home.
“I’m trying to re-discover my thirst for the big fights, my thirst for winning, just like when I was starting my career. It’s going back to my mind, my thirst for fighting, and winning,” he said.
Freddie Roach, his trainer, said the other night Pacquiao had told him he wants to dedicate this year to boxing alone, looking for all the big fights.
“No basketball. No gambling. He played pool a couple of times but they were for HBO. Manny told me he’s going to dedicate this year to boxing. He has no time for basketball,” said Roach.
For the Marco Antonio Barrera last October, Pacquiao did the early and bigger half of his training back home in Cebu, a program that was marred by poor crowd-control at the gym, and Sundays spent playing basketball with friends.
“Cebu is a great training camp. It’s a great place to train. But everybody wants a piece of Manny. He’s so accessible and he wanted to please everybody. When he gets here to Wild Card he knows why he’s here.
“In this camp he has really worked extra hard. I’m really very happy where he is right now,” said Roach, who had to leave the gym Tuesday even before Pacquiao wrapped it up.
Roach drove to Pasadena, California, to meet Bernard Hopkins, his newest fighter.
Pacquiao did well during his workout, moving well cutting the ring, throwing flurry of punches that often stunned his mates. There seemed to be no problem with his weight, and said there never was.
“My weight is not an issue. You saw it. There was no need to put on my jacket or sweat suit. In the fight against Barrera, there was a little problem making the weight because I trained in the Philippines,” he said.
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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