PACQUIAO IN PERFECT SHAPE, HEADS TO DALLAS
MANILA, MARCH 9, 2010 (MALAYA) MANNY Pacquiao spent Sunday in Los Angeles personally supervising the results of a weight loss contest he has sponsored, a day before he breaks camp at the Wild Card Gym and proceeds to Arlington, Texas, for his March 13 (March 14 in Manila) title defense against Joshua Clottey of Ghana at the Cowboys Stadium.
A Philboxing.com report said some people have criticized the contest, wherein anybody in Pacquiao’s entourage who manages to lose 15 percent of his body weight gets to win $3,000. Pacquiao, however, has repeatedly stressed the contest aims to give those who hang around his condo a taste of what it takes and how it feels to lose weight much like he does in every fight.
"I just want them to appreciate better the sacrifices I go through, but most of all," Philboxing.com quoted him as saying, "I want them all to be in good shape."
The contest lured more than 60 participants, with Nonoy Neri, the first on the scales, barely making the needed weight loss. He then quickly put on his shirt and warm up pants and headed straight to the kitchen to eat, according to the website.
The fellow that lost the most weight—Tim Sladek—was awarded $20,000. He lost 22 percent his body weight, beating past winners Mike Koncz and Alex Ariza, the latter Pacquiao’s conditioning expert.
Ariza, according to Phil-boxing.com, said Pacquiao’s problems with his left leg that bothered him some weeks ago is fine and he looked in great shape when he sparred for six rounds at the Wild Card Gym last Saturday.
The website quoted Ariza as saying Pacquiao’s "footwork was great and Freddie (Roach) was very, very pleased with his footwork. Today he (Pacquiao) focused on footwork in moving and lateral movements and was doing just what he was supposed to do and me, I’m so happy because I asked him about the leg and the leg is a hundred percent now."
After overseeing the results of his weight lost contest, Pacquiao, (50-3-2, 38 knockouts), rested for the rest of Sunday, although he will be allowed to spar on Monday before he leaves aboard a chartered jet for his welterweight title defense against Clottey, 32,
Last Saturday, Pacquiao sparred for six rounds with Abdullai Amidu, the undefeated Ghana fighter with 17 knockouts in 18 wins and longtime sparring partner David Rodela, the super featherweight who helped him prepare for his rematch with Mexican legend Marco Antonio Barrera, according to the website.
Ariza was also quoted by the Los Angeles Times as saying: "I wish we were fighting Mayweather this time, the way Manny has worked."
Roach, for his part, told the Times: "I hear (Las) Vegas has the over/under for rounds at 10. I’ll take the under. We’ve watched a lot of tapes on Clottey. He’s predictable. Manny will be the first to stop him."
Pacquiao, 31, who will stake his WBO welterweight crown, was quoted as saying by the Times: "Clottey, he’s a good defensive fighter. He’s bigger than me (by 2 1/2 inches, with a three-inch reach advantage), so I’ve had to study his style and maybe he’s trying to learn some new techniques. But from what I’ve studied so far, I think he’s a good formula for me. I’m still sure he’s studying different techniques he can try against me."
Clottey (35-3 with 21 knockouts), was quoted as saying: "It is not easy. (Pacquiao’s) good, but I tell people I’m going to beat him. They don’t believe me, but I’m a confident guy and I will keep my word. I will make him think a lot in the ring because of my defense. … I believe in my defense. He’s going to throw a lot of punches. I’ll block nine out of 10."
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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