LAS VEGAS, JUNE 27, 2008
(STAR) By Abac Cordero – Manny Pacquiao said Wednesday he will keep on punching until David Diaz goes down and out as Freddie Roach had predicted the other day.

“I will do everything I can,” said Pacquiao before he left the Events Center where the final press conference for Saturday’s WBC lightweight title showdown between the two champions took place.

Pacquiao said there’s just too much at stake in the coming fight that he can’t afford to lose, and join the list of Filipino fighters who have failed in their bid to win the lightweight crown, including the great Gabriel “Flash” Elorde.

“A record is at stake. That’s my motivation – to make history,” said Pacquiao, who will also become the first Asian boxer to win four world titles in different weight classes if he goes on to beat Diaz in the scheduled 12-rounder.

“If I do it, I think it will take many more years before it is ever achieved again,” he said.

Pacquiao was reminded of the very bold prediction made by his chief trainer, Roach, who said “Diaz will need a miracle” for him to beat Pacquiao and retain his title in the 135-lb division.

Pacquiao said he’d rather not make such comments, but a few days ago said that, yes, he’d go for the knockout

And how does he intend to do it?

“Keep on punching,” said the boxer from Gen. Santos City in Mindanao.

Three days before the fight, Pacquiao said he doesn’t feel the pressure.

“I’m not pressured. I will just do whatever I can,” added Pacquiao who will report to the IBA Gym Thursday afternoon. It will be his last day at the gym, and Friday the official weigh-in is set.

Diaz, a 32-year-old Mexican, vowed to keep his title.

“I never thought I’d get this, the championship. And now that I have it, I won’t let it go. That’s the way it is,” he said, adding with two days left before the fight he’s just two pounds over the limit of 135 lbs.

“I dedicate this fight to Mexico. I know that even if Manny doesn’t like it, he’s been beating up a lot of my countrymen.”

Diaz was asked that if he were Pacquiao, what should be his biggest concern?

“If I were Manny I’d be concerned about my will or the will that I have,” he said.

“I’m not going away that easy. He can throw bombs in there and do what he wants to do but I’ll be there. It’s just my nature to stay in there.”

He said he’s ready for anything.

“It’s going to be a great one. I want it to be a good one. I want it to be a war. I want it to go down as one of the best fights of the year. And if I come out with the short end of the stick then so be it.”

“Yes, I’m the underdog. And it feels good when you win.”

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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