(STAR) The David Diaz camp claimed Tuesday they’ve found kinks in Manny Pacquiao’s armor but would rather keep it to themselves heading into the June 28 showdown for the WBC lightweight crown in Las Vegas.

“I’ve been watching his last one (fight) with (Juan Manuel) Marquez, and the first one with (Erik) Morales, and we see a couple of things there that we could expose, and we’re just going to go and try and see what happens,” said Diaz.

The reigning world champion in the 135 lb division made the comment during a tele-conference Tuesday.

“And if he does come out crazy, then I’ll be there to meet him too, because I can get a little crazy myself,” said Diaz who vowed to retain his belt, and deny Pacquiao chance to become Asia’s first four-time world champion.

His trainer, Jim Strickland, was asked about Pacquiao’s perceived weaknesses.

“Well, I’d rather not dwell, on that. There are some deficiencies we do see in Pacquiao, and as long as he’s been coming to the ring – they say a leopard doesn’t change his spots – there will be little change.

“We’re just emphasizing those things that we do best – being aggressive, being in top condition, ready to punch or move every second of every minute. And we feel we can just outwork him,” he said.

Diaz was also asked whether he thought Pacquiao was taking him lightly.

“That’s his problem, that’s not my problem. I don’t concern myself with what other people do. I’ve just got to take care of what I do, what I’m supposed to do, and that’s about it, man.

“If you keep on concerning yourself about what other people think or do, then you’ve got a problem, and thank God I don’t have that problem. I know I’m going to go in there in shape, and if he’s not, that’s his problem,” he said.

Pacquiao, for his part, said his training is going on as smooth, as scheduled, as planned.

“I have trained very hard and I am ready to fight. I am excited for June 28, and I know this will be an exciting fight because our styles are similar. It is going to be a good fight. I don’t believe Diaz is stronger than me.” – Abac Cordero

Pacman trains sans flu-stricken Roach By Abac Cordero Friday, June 20, 2008

LOS ANGELES – Freddie Roach has gone down with the flu and has kept himself out of the Wild Card Gym, barely 10 days left before Manny Pacquiao squares off with David Diaz at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

More than a week ago, it was Pacquiao who caught the virus, probably during a promotional tour held in San Diego. But the 29-year-old champ went on with his training despite some terrible coughing.

Last Tuesday, Pacquiao sparred 10 rounds without Roach. In his absence, Buboy Fernandez presided over the training session that was witnessed by a very limited group that included only the members of the team.

Roach should be back Thursday when Pacquiao spars for eight rounds. He has started tapering off for the fight after sparring a dozen rounds last week. In the coming days, the number of sparring rounds will gradually decrease.

“For the past two days, coach Freddie has been down with the flu. He was not around when we sparred 10 rounds last Tuesday. He felt it was wise for him to stay out of the gym or risk contaminating the boxers, including me,” said Pacquiao.

Pacquiao said they’ve logged in a total of 122 rounds of sparring, and with a couple more days to go should go way beyond his target in less than two months sparring here in Los Angeles.

The Pinoy superstar said while he missed the expertise of Roach in the ring, he was extremely satisfied with Fernandez, a friend from way, way back.

Aside from Fernandez, helping out in the training are conditioning coaches Eric Brown and Alex Ariza, and assistant trainer Nonoy Neri, who has also carries the responsibility of looking over Pacquiao’s weight and nutritional requirements.

Yesterday, Pacquiao staged a tele-conference with members of the foreign press, then held a no-sparring session at the gym. Later in the evening, he went to the Los Angeles International Airport to pick up his wife Jinkee.

Another press conference is scheduled for both boxers on Monday here in Sta. Monica.

Pacquiao seemed a little tired when seen at the airport at a little past eight in the evening, leading his wife, who flew in with her twin sister Janette, to the parking lot, accompanied by friends and a TV crew from Manila.

Notes: While Manny Pacquiao and David Diaz are both scheduled to arrive in Las Vegas on Monday, the formal welcome ceremony takes place the following day, with the American champion making his entrance at Mandalay Bay at 11 a.m. to be followed by the Filipino challenger 30 minutes later. They will hold short and separate media workouts at the Events Center shortly after noon. On Wednesday, the final press conference will take place, Thursday probably the last day at the gym for both fighters who will be weighed on Friday.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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