[PHOTO AT LEFT - World welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao leaves for Los Angeles Sunday night to hype up his forthcoming fight with Ghana’s Josh Clottey. RUDY SANTO]

MANILA, JANUARY 19, 2010 (STAR) By Abac Cordero -  A chief adviser of Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao said seven weeks or anything within 50 days, should be enough to put the Filipino pound-for-pound champion a hundred percent ready for Josh Clottey.

“Seven weeks will be enough. No need to worry,” said Wakee Salud, the Cebuano matchmaker and one of Pacquiao’s closest friends, of the March 13 bout in Arlington, Texas.

Pacquiao arrived to a warm welcome Thursday evening in Los Angeles (yesterday morning Manila time) but will have to honor a couple more commitments before he starts his serious training.

The 31-year-old champion, who will stake his WBO welterweight crown against Clottey, will be in Dallas and New York in the next couple of days to help drum up the event, and should hit the gym in LA on Thursday.

That will officially be his first day of training even if Pacquiao had instructed his handlers to bring his running gear along because he wants to break sweat while in Dallas and New York, regardless of the weather.

For his most recent fights, the ones against Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto, Pacquiao trained no more than eight weeks, and one week less won’t make enough of a difference, according to Salud.

“Inborn ang resistensiya (stamina) ni Manny,” said Salud, half-joking when he added that even if Pacquiao only trains for a month he’d be as strong, as quick and as powerful as he’s always been.

“You’ve seen him train and everybody will agree that once he starts training there’s no stopping him. What he does in the gym each day is probably double that what the others do in training,” said Salud.

Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter, said he’d seen no other fighter in history, or his more than 40 years in the sport, train as hard as the hard-hitting southpaw from the Philippines.

“Not even (Muhammad) Ali trained like Pacquiao,” said Arum, who shares the predicament of the key members of Team Pacquiao of how to hold him back in training because he keeps asking for more.

“Yes, that’s the problem. Once he turns on that switch he just keeps on going, going and going,” said his strength and conditioning coach, Alex Ariza.

It’s Clottey, added Salud, who should worry about his training because while he’s naturally bigger than Pacquiao, it may be the first time he’d be up against someone both as fast and powerful as Pacquiao.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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