(STAR) By Abac Cordero – After seven weeks of hell – on the road and in the gym – Manny Pacquiao’s weight is, officially, down from 150 to 133 lbs.

And with a week left before the official weigh-in for his rematch with Juan Manuel Marquez in Las Vegas, meeting the 130-lbs limit poses no problem.

After a two-hour workout that included four rounds of sparring, Pacquiao was weighed before a WBC representative at the Wild Card Gym Saturday.

“He’s 133!” yelled Eric Brown, the conditioning coach, as Pacquiao, surrounded by his trainers, fans and media, tipped the scales, only in his boxers, then smiled.

Bonie Martinez of the WBC stood beside Pacquiao as he was weighed exactly a week before the awaited super-featherweight championhip at Mandalay Bay.

It was a WBC-mandated weigh-in, and it called for both Pacquiao and Marquez, the reigning champion, to weigh no more than 136.5 lbs.

Marquez was also weighed before a WBC representative in Mexico City. He came in at 131 lbs, just two pounds lighter than his weight last Feb. 15.

The Mexican fighter has never had any problems with his weight.

Pacquiao admitted Friday that when he arrived in LA last Jan. 15 for the two-month training, he was at 150 lbs. He was down to 139 lbs a month after.

“We’re slowing down the work. Three pounds to go with a week away is no problem,” said Roach who said he lost a friendly $20 wager to fellow trainer Buboy Fernandez.

Roach had hoped for Pacquiao to weigh in at 132 lbs, Fernandez went for 133 lbs, and Nonoy Neri gambled on 131 lbs.

But they all looked happy after the weigh-in.

“I ate twice after yesterday’s workout (late afternoon and in the evening) and drank lots of water this morning. That’s why I was 133,” he said.

“But all the hardships will soon be over,” he said.

Pacquiao sparred two rounds each with Ramon Montano and Juanito Garcia behind closed doors, and looked far from impressive.

Against two Mexicans, he got caught, or allowed himself to get caught, with good punches a number of times. But never did he appear to have been hurt.

Montano landed some good punches on Pacquiao, but each time the Filipino would laugh it off by saying “Come on! Come on!”

Once he got caught by the undefeated Garcia on the ropes, and was tagged a number of times. Then Pacquiao connected with a nice flurry of punches, and he chased the Mexican.

But the bell sounded, ending the session.

“I guess he was a little bored boxing today. He’s getting used to his sparring partners he’s getting a little friendly. But he’s okay,” said Roach.

As Pacquiao got off the ring, after a minute of prayer, he shouted “Let’s get ready to rumble!”

Maybe he must be getting bored.

Pacman ready to rumble – Roach Monday, March 10, 2008

LOS ANGELES – Here’s a short but strong message from Freddie Roach to the Mexican camp: “You better be ready.”

The two-time Trainer of the Year said Saturday in his Wild Card Gym he believes Manny Pacquiao is all set to rumble.

“We’ve done all the work. We’ve covered all the bases. We have the game plan,” he said after he directed another Pacquiao workout.

Roach said Pacquiao, just three pounds over the limit of 130 with still a week before the fight, is right on track, right on target.

Then he said there’s no way Pacquiao could lose this fight.

“I don’t see that (happening). I don’t think we can lose this fight,” said Roach, sounding so confident that Pacquiao will soon be crowned WBC lightweight champ.

Roach was asked if he had anything to say to Marquez.

“You better be ready. But I’m sure he is. He is a professional. But we are, too. It depends on what he likes and how he wants to fight us.

“If he gets active we’re ready for that. If he counter-punches we’re ready for that,” said Roach, adding that their battle plan is quite simple.

“Plans C or D” he said are not really needed. “It’s just more of A and B.”

Pacquiao has done everything he could in training, and is in the process of cooling down. After a morning run Sunday, he hears mass and rests the whole day.

Monday will be Pacquiao’s last day of sparring (only four rounds) but first he has to attend a press conference in downtown Los Angeles with Juan Manuel Marquez.

Then in the afternoon, Pacquiao takes a four-hour drive to Vegas. There the workouts will get even lighter, and Thursday will be his last day on the road.

Marquez flew in from Mexico to LA Saturday afternoon and will work out just the same, in a local or private gym somewhere, before he flies to Vegas Monday.

Last Friday in Mexico he did just four rounds of sparring against Venezuelan Rafael Hernandez and Nicaraguan Eusebio Osejo. Then he went to the US Embassy for some paper work.

Like Pacquiao, he’s got all the bases covered. – Abac Cordero

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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