[PHOTO AT LEFT - Manny Pacquiao shows off his abs, flanked by two models from fight sponsor Tekate Beer, during his media day workout. Abac Cordero|HOLLYWOOD]

LOS ANGELES, NOVEMBER 6, 2009 (STAR)  By Abac Cordero - Manny Pacquiao grinned from ear to ear and oozed with confidence Wednesday as he faced the media at the Wild Card Gym here.

“I can’t wait for the fight,” declared the reigning pound-for-pound champion as he limbered up, with mediamen lining up three sides of the ring, clicking away and hoping to get the best shot for the day.

Miguel Cotto’s own media day, which took place Tuesday at the Pound4Pound Gym here in Los Angeles, paled in comparison. For one, it looked like Cotto left his smile in his training camp in Las Vegas.

Miguel hardly smiled at the gym yesterday and here he was looking so happy, Pacquiao was told.

“Ganoon ba? Pag-bigyan niyo na. Nagre-reduce yun eh (Is that so? Let him be. He’s reducing),” said the 30-year-old icon who looked so comfortable he can tip the scales anytime and make limit of 145 lb.

Cotto, on the other hand, must be draining himself going down from 160 lb two months ago. and even if he does make it during the official weigh-in, the question is if he can recover in time for the fight set Nov. 14.

Except when he did four rounds with the mitts with Freddie Roach, Pacquiao did smile most of the time, gladly fielding questions, and even putting his arms around the Tekate girls with bodies enough to warm up the gym.

Obviously, Pacquiao had no worries in mind the whole two hours he looked like he was doing a commercial shoot.

His promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank, was around, and so were Hollywood names like Mickey Rourke and Mario Lopez, just adding up to the very light atmosphere, in contrast to when Cotto faced the media the other day and wouldn’t answer questions about his weight.

Arum said Pacquiao must still be feeling the effect of his rousing appearance in the Jimmy Kimmel Show the other night along Hollywood Blvd. He was a big hit that producers of the nationally-televised talk will air a replay of the episode.

“He brought the house down. And this morning, it was on Sports Center (of ESPN),” said Arum of Pacquiao’s TV appearance where he belted a song (Sometimes When We Touch) and had the crowd “up on their feet and swaying.”

For a while though, Pacquiao looked serious when he talked about the fight.

“This is a huge fight for me. This is a big fight. Because if I win I become the first boxer to capture seven titles in seven weight divisions,” he said.

“My advantage for this fight is my speed. And also I believe I have the power,” he said, adding that as he is right now he’s ready to go 12 rounds with the bigger, younger and stronger welterweight champion from Puerto Rico.

“Kahit tumagal ang fight wala ako problema (Even if the fight lasts long I won’t have a problem),” said Pacquiao, even if his chief trainer had predicted a knockout that could come in the first round or at most the 10th.

“Kanya-kanyang opinyon eh (It’s everybody’s opinion). Pero nire-respeto ko lahat yan (But I respect them all),” he added, before getting hold of the GMA-7 microphone and doing his own stand-up of the situation.

And he had fun doing it.

Atienza won't be at ringside By Katherine Adraneda (The Philippine Star) Updated November 06, 2009 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Lito Atienza, who has taken to heart his being a “second father” to boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, won’t be in Las Vegas to watch the fight between Pacquiao and Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto on Nov. 14 ( Nov. 15 in Manila).

Atienza said much as he hates to break what he describes as “tradition” of being with the people’s champ in all his Vegas bouts, he has to stay behind due to “piles of work” that he needs to attend to at the DENR.

He also cited the calamities that recently struck the nation as another reason for him to forego his plan to watch the Pacquiao-Cotto fight live in Las Vegas.

“Before he left (for the US) I already told him of that possibility (of me not being able to watch him there),” Atienza said.

“I don’t want to break the tradition, as you know I have always been there watching him in his every fight, but I ]simply couldn’t leave due to the volume of work here,” he also said.

Atienza, however, said that he calls Pacquiao from time to time to show his support to the boxing hero, and to remind him to concentrate on his training to ensure victory over Cotto.

Atienza said he would send his son, Ali, to represent him during the Pacquiao-Cotto fight next week.

“Knowing Manny, I’m sure he will understand. And I’m sure that the whole nation will be praying for him, including my whole family, to once again win in this fight,” he noted.

“And I always remind him (Manny) to concentrate and focus on his training and to continue praying, continue with his prayers. I told him that his excellent skills as a fighter coupled with his continuous prayers would make certain his success in this important fight,” he also said.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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