[PHOTO AT LEFT - Newly crowned WBO (World Boxing Organization) welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao, wearing a medical protector to shield his injured right ear he sustained during his title showdown with Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto, fields questions from Manila mediamen inside the Team Pacquiao bus on their way back to Los Angeles from Las Vegas Sunday. ABAC CORDERO]

MANILA, NOVEMBER 16, 2009 (STAR) Floyd Mayweather Jr. last night said he is ready to make the big-money fight with newly crowned WBO welterweight world champion Manny Pacquiao happen.

“If he wants to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. all he has to do is step up to the plate,” said Mayweather, according to a CNN report.

The undefeated 32-year-old Mayweather was reacting to the statement of Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach, who said the “whole world” now wanted to see a fight with Mayweather after the Filipino boxing icon whipped Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto to capture the WBO welterweight crown last Saturday in Las Vegas.

The two-time Ring magazine fighter of the year also told British broadcaster Sky Sports that he felt Pacquiao’s approach was one-dimensional although he agreed that the Filipino fighter would be a favorite with the crowd.

“The thing is with Pacquaio I don’t see any versatility as a fighter; he’s a good puncher but just one-dimensional,” he said.

“The world’s going to go ‘wow’ if Floyd Mayweather gets beaten. That’s what everyone is looking to see.

“If I beat Manny Pacquaio do you know what they are going to say? ‘You are supposed to beat him, you are Floyd Mayweather, you are the bigger man’. If I knock him out they’ll say ‘you’re supposed to knock him out he’s been knocked out before’.

“I’m in a no-win situation and when I beat him no one is going to be surprised because he’s been beaten before; whatever I do to Pacquiao has been done before – he’s been beaten on three occasions. And if I knock him out I don’t want the world shouting because he’s been knocked out twice before.”

The Pacquiao-Mayweather match, if it goes ahead, is expected to challenge the mark set by Oscar De La Hoya’s bout with Mayweather for the most profitable fight in history.

Money generated from pay-per-view subscriptions earned the two fighters an estimated combined total of $77 million in 2007.

Mayweather, whose nickname is “Money,” said: “If I go out and make $60-75 million in one night; come on - I’m not losing.”

Pacman admits enduring the pain By Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) Updated November 17, 2009 12:00 AM

HOLLYWOOD – By the marks on his face you knew he’d been through a rough one.

But Manny Pacquiao, with no sleep at all, more than 24 hours after a hard-fought, 12-round TKO of Miguel Cotto, gamely faced questions on how the fight really went last Saturday at the MGM Grand.

“Kung pipitsugin ka, todas ka (If you were a lesser fighter, you’re done),” Pacquiao said inside the colorful Team Pacquiao bus, in the middle of a long journey from Las Vegas to this City of Angels Sunday.

Pacquiao, who sports a heavy bandage on his swollen right hand and some special contraption to protect his damaged right ear, said he did feel the pain from Cotto’s punches but tried hard not to show it.

“Malalakas (Powerful) yung mga upper-cut and hook. Gumaganyan nga yung ulo ko (It pushes my head back),” he told reporters, standing on the isle of the 40-seater bus that also carried his family members and friends.

“Wala pang tulog mula nung fight (He hasn’t slept since the fight),” said Jojo Sta. Teresa, a Pacquiao bodyguard. It was past 7 in the evening when the packed bus rolled out of the Mandalay Bay premises headed to LA.

Pacquiao stayed up all night, gracing his mini-concert right after the fight. He was back in his room at around 3 a.m. and had no sleep at all before attending mass and facing hundreds of his fans at the Convention Center, then gracing a Filipino noontime show’s special episode in Vegas.

As the journey began, Pacquiao was facing a 21-inch colored TV, seated on the first row, and watched a replay of Saturday’s big fight. Then he caught a tape of the Sean Connery-Wesley Snipes movie, “Rising Sun,” and listened to some loud music.

Later on, he took a few steps toward the backend portion of the bus, and talked to scribes who covered the fight.

“Did you see how I controlled the fight?” he asked in Filipino.

“I tried to size him up and test his power that’s why I allowed myself to get hit in the early rounds. I tried to look for an opening and found out that I could hit him better when I stood toe-to-toe with him,” he said.

“I wanted to control the fight.”

To do so, he played mind games with the 29-year-old Cotto, by getting himself hit, and trying so hard to make it appear that he could take the punches of the welterweight champion from Puerto Rico.

“I allowed myself to get hit. Then I tried to keep the pain to myself. That way, I wanted him to think that he couldn’t hurt me at all. “Gusto ko isipin niya na ‘Bakit kaya hindi nasasaktan ito? (I want him to think why he can’t hurt me?)’”

That way, he felt he managed control of the fight, that lasted close to the distance if not for another heavy blow that forced the referee to step in and put an end to the fight. He knocked Cotto down once in the third and fourth rounds.

Also in the bus were his parents, Rosalio and Dionisia, who’ve been living separate lives for so many years now. In Las Vegas they stayed in separate rooms, and on the bus they were seats apart.

But you can see the happiness in them, watching their son in probably the biggest battle and the biggest win of his life. While the father watched from ringside, Dionisia skipped it all, staying all night in his hotel room, praying.

“Ayoko talaga manood (I didn’t want to see it). Kaya sa room lang ako, nag-pray (So I stayed in my room and prayed),” said Dionisia.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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