(PHILIPPINE STAR)  By Abac Cordero - Manny Pacquiao and Freddie Roach in file photo. MANILA, Philippines - There is a possibility that Manny Pacquiao might choose Baguio over Mexico not just for the first part but for the bulk of his training for the Nov. 14 fight with reigning WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto.

Pacquiao had shown interest in training in the summer capital of the Philippines even as his trainer Freddie Roach said that wouldn’t be a sound idea because of all the distractions that may arise.

Meanwhile, American trainer Roach yesterday threatened to bolt Pacquiao’s camp, disappointed over the Filipino boxing champion’s lack of urgency to get into serious training for his Nov. 14 bout with Miguel Cotto in Las Vegas.

Roach said he hasn’t talked to Pacquiao for almost two months now and out of disgust he was quoted by the Asian Journal yesterday as saying, “If they don’t want me to be the trainer anymore that’s fine with me. Do it yourself.”

Originally, Pacquiao said he only wanted to train in Baguio for a week and then move over to either Mexico or the Bahamas and train there for four to five weeks and wrap it up in the United States.

Tax laws are preventing Pacquiao from holding his eight-week training in the US because aliens like him are only allowed so much time (around 180 days in three years) to stay there. Otherwise he will be heavily taxed.

But Pacquiao’s lawyer, Franklin Gacal, told The STAR that it could even be Baguio all the way, and that the pound-for-pound champion would just move to either Los Angeles or Las Vegas a couple of weeks before the fight.

Gacal said Pacquiao is leaving on Sept. 9 for the press tour that would take him and Cotto to New York, Puerto Rico, San Francisco and Los Angeles in less than a week.

“Then he wants to fly back immediately to begin training in Baguio. My hunch is that once he gets going in Baguio, then it’s going to be Baguio. It would be difficult for him to do the press tour, then train one week in Baguio, then move to Mexico and then move once more to either LA or Las Vegas. It may not be good for his training,” said Gacal.

Roach has sounded the alarm as early as last week that barely 10 weeks before the fight, which he described as “the toughest” for Pacquiao, they haven’t decided yet when and where training would start. Cotto has been training for around three weeks now.

Pacquiao said the second week of September should be the perfect time to start training because it’s been proven in the past that eight weeks, nothing more and nothing less, would get him in top shape.

But the other day, Roach said all he’s saying is that Mexico would be a better choice than Baguio where Pacquiao fans, uncontrollable most of the time, would disrupt their training every now and then. Bringing in sparring partners from the US will also need greater effort if they train in Baguio.

Michael Marley also wrote that Pacquiao is seemingly hesitant over Mexico because of the security reasons and that “Pacman believes that kidnappings of wealthy persons and the border area drug dealer versus police slayings are running rampant all across Mexico.”

Roach said he can put a thick security blanket over the Filipino icon while he trains in a secluded camp in Toluca, and also said the other day that he can “go to the Philippines” if needed and “I will do my job to get him ready for the fight but I prefer Mexico.”

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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