MANILA, MAY 24, 2008
(STAR) By Abac Cordero - This early, David Diaz is asking for forgiveness from the Filipino people.

“On June 28, it will be an all-out war between Manny (Pacquiao) and myself. Hopefully, the Filipino people can forgive me for keeping my belt,” Diaz said Wednesday in Chicago.

The reigning WBC lightweight champion from the United States made the statement during a pep rally, which he and Pacquiao attended to drum up their coming showdown in Vegas.

“I just can’t allow it,” Diaz said, probably referring to Pacquiao’s determined bid to beat him, win a fourth world title in different divisions and become the first Pinoy lightweight champ.

“He is a human being just like I am. He has two arms and two legs just like me. The only difference is that I will win the fight. Hopefully I will bring the belt back to Chicago,” he said.

“May the best man win …and I believe that man is going to be me,” added Diaz, according to a transcript from Chicago that was provided by Pacquiao’s close friend, Dr. Allan Recto.

Diaz and Pacquiao attended the presscon at Lalo’s Restaurant (formerly the Michael Jordan Restaurant) and a pep rally at the Chicago Loop Federal Plaza.

A few times they came close to each other, very casual to each other.

“It’s going to be a great fight. David will do his best and I will also do my best. Our styles are similar. He always wants to come forward. Me too. That’s my style,” said Pacquiao.

On the way to the pep rally, the two teams crossed paths on a pathway, and according to Recto, Pacquiao, in a long-sleeved shirt, seemed to be affected by the very cold Chicago weather.

Diaz reportedly asked Pacquiao, ““What’s wrong? I thought you were a tough guy. You can’t handle the cool weather of Chicago?”

“I’m not used to this climate as it is hot in the Philippines,” Pacquiao answered. A big group of Pinoys cheered the Pinoy sensation as he made his way in.

Pacquiao arrived in Chicago with his trainers Freddie Roach and Buboy Fernandez, adviser Mike Koncz at around 11 p.m. Tuesday. They were billeted at the downtown Marriott Hotel.

Pacquiao left the venue at 1:30 p.m. on a black limo that took him and his entourage to a private airstrip. They boarded an eight-seater plane that took them back to LA.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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