[PHOTO AT LEFT - Manny  Pacquiao]

MANILA, SEPTEMBER 7, 2009 (PHILIPPINE STAR) By Abac Cordero - Late nights will soon be over for Manny Pacquiao.

The world’s best boxer today is set to embark on a whirlwind press tour of five key cities to mark the start of his preparations for the Nov. 14 clash with WBA welterweight champion Miguel Cotto.

He leaves for New York on Wednesday to be at the Yankees Stadium at noon of Sept. 10 for the launch of the press tour that would take him and Cotto to Caguas, Puerto Rico on Sept. 12, the AT&T Park in San Francisco for the Giants-Dodgers match on Sept. 13, the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles on Sept. 14 and the PETCO Park in San Diego (Pacquiao only) for the Padres-Diamondbacks match on Sept. 15.

After a day or two, Pacquiao heads back to the Philippines, hopefully with his chief trainer, Freddie Roach, on hand, for the start of his training in Baguio City. According to plans, Pacquiao will train in the country’s summer capital, and would move to the Wild Card Gym in LA three weeks before the showdown.

Once training starts, it means no more late nights, parties, and shooting of movies and commercials for the 30-year-old icon who said the other day that while he was very busy the last couple of months he made sure he knew his limitations.

“There are some late nights because I worked on my showbiz career. But I made sure I get enough rest. I know my body. Sinigurado ko naman na sapat din ang pahinga ko kahit na medyo napupuyat,” said Pacquiao, who vowed to give it all once training starts.

While his tireless Canadian adviser, Mike Koncz, worked for possible training sites in Mexico or Vancouver, Pacquiao chose Baguio City, and has asked Roach to come over as soon as the press tour is done and over with.

Pacquiao the other day cleared the air on the rumored rift between him and Roach regarding the training, and on some things being written about Koncz.

“Things are being said and written about Mike Koncz but to set it straight he’s just doing his job. I like him because he gets the job done. And contrary to what’s being said, it’s not him calling the shots. I do. He only does what I tell him to do. Masipag siya (He’s hardworking),” said Pacquiao of Koncz.

Pacquiao’s Filipino trainer, Buboy Fernandez, is now up in Baguio for an ocular inspection of the possible training camp inside Teachers’ Village. The route that will cover Pacquiao’s roadwork, both flat and mountainous courses, is being laid out by Fernandez.

He said eight weeks should be enough to get him in tip-top fighting form and everybody who knows the pride of Saranggani Province in Mindanao could attest to the fact that when he trains he trains like no other.

Tax laws have prevented Pacquiao from staying in the US for the duration of his eight-week training as aliens like him are only given so much time to stay there. He is close to his limit (180 days in three years), and if he goes beyond that he will be heavily taxed.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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