[PHOTO AT LEFT - Joshua Clottey continues to work hard in training barely two days before his showdown with Manny Pacquiao.]

DALLAS, MARCH 13, 2010 (STAR) By Abac Cordero - Joshua Clottey showed signs of trouble making weight.

And Freddie Roach, the trainer of Manny Pacquiao, liked it.

“You see how small he looks right now? He’s frail. Did you see him with Manny together yesterday? He’s not that big,” said Roach on the eve of the official weigh-in at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

While Pacquiao had a good time at the gym Thursday, the challenger from Ghana worked harder, like he had to lose a couple more pounds just to make sure he gets near the 147 lb welterweight limit.

Clottey, according to witnesses, trained inside the Convention Hall of the Gaylord Texan Hotel wearing a sweat suit, and was seen by Filipino scribes jogging along the carpeted hall just outside the training venue.

Roger Fernandez, one of Pacquiao’s assistants, was able to sneak in and catch Clottey in training. He said the 33-year-old fighter spent a long time skipping ropes, and did look frail as Roach noticed the other day.

A local female photographer said it wasn’t quite a good day for Clottey because she saw the boxer slip on a wet portion outside the ring, and fell hard to the ground but “picked himself up and was able to continue.”

“Did he really need to work out that hard?” Pacquiao asked Fernandez as the Filipino champion was taping his hands and getting ready for his own time at the gym at around four in the afternoon.

Pacquiao must have sensed that Clottey may be having problems with his weight, even if he tips the scales Friday inside the limit.

Roach said fighters who encounter problems making weight would normally swell themselves up in the next 24 hours.

“Obviously if a guy comes in the ring like 160, 165, he has trouble making weight. By fight time he will grow, but definitely I feel it will be in our favor. Gaining too much weight is not good for a fighter,” said Roach.

“It makes him sluggish,” he said, talking from experience when Pacquiao had trouble making 130 lb against Juan Manuel Marquez in 2008. He barely made weight, and climbed the ring at 146 lb, making him sluggish.

Pacquiao is well inside the limit, and enjoyed his favorite “bulalo” and “pinakbet” for lunch. He tipped the scales after his workout at 145 lb, and his conditioning coach, Alex Ariza, said this gives them so much leeway.

“He can still eat tonight. Then he can have light breakfast and light lunch tomorrow and still make 147 during the weigh-in. His metabolism is so high that even if he doesn’t do anything tomorrow he’ll be safe at 147,” said Ariza.

Still, Roach said it’s no reason to take Clottey lightly, because the challenger has nothing to lose and everything to gain in this fight, expected to be fought before a sellout crowd at the $1.2 billion stadium.

“But I don’t see that happening because his focus is so good and his mindset is perfect right now,” said Roach.

Pacman takes it easy, jams with rock band (The Philippine Star) Updated March 13, 2010 12:00 AM

Photo is loading... Manny Pacquiao seems more worried over his performance in his post-fight concert than his date with Josh Clottey as he rehearses with his band. ABAC CORDERO | Zoom

DALLAS – No fighter in his right mind should do what Manny Pacquiao does.

Not a fighter who’s just two days away from what could be his toughest fight in recent years.

But for Pacquiao, everything he does in and out of the ring doesn’t really matter, as long as he lands the right punches on fight night.

On Saturday, he’ll be hoping he would when he defends his WBO welterweight crown against Joshua Clottey, who has vowed to stun the world and end Pacquiao’s incredible 11-0 streak dating back to 2005.

The Filipino icon closed out his training camp Thursday at the Gaylord Texan Hotel. He only did five rounds with the mitts, shadow boxed for just a couple of minutes and had less crunches than he normally would in camp.

Pacquiao, who weighed 151 lb earlier in the day, was at 145 after the workout, and should have no problem making 147 in Friday’s official weigh-in at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

As he limbered up before the mitts session, his chief trainer, Freddie Roach, was at ringside, enjoying his coffee and smiling a lot. On top of the ring, Pacquiao horsed around with his strength and conditioning coach, Alex Ariza.

They seemed to be just having fun in there.

There was a point when Ariza and Pacquiao looked like they were trying to wrestle each other to the ground, like little kids, and Roach had to butt in, “Hey! No wrestling!”

Later on after the workout, Roach admitted that there was “more talking than punching” during the training session. It just goes without saying that Pacquiao is indeed ready to fight.

“I didn’t want him to do much. He’s a hundred percent ready. This is probably the smoothest training camp I ever had,” said Roach, who left Pacquiao in the ring, all by himself, after the mitts session.

“He wanted some more and I said, ‘No,’” said Roach.

Pacquiao shadow-boxed a little, and while in the process, asked his lieutenants if the members of his band were already inside the hotel’s convention hall probably half the size of a football field.

“Nandyan na ba ang banda ko? (Is my band here?),” he asked twice.

In a few minutes, he was done with his workout, changed clothes, and yes, the members of the band were there waiting, at the other end of the hall. Everything was all set, the equipment and all, for a full rehearsal.

Pacquiao has set a tradition of staging a party-concert after a fight, again something that goes beyond the rituals of an ordinary fighter. He said he plans to sing as many as “twenty songs” on Saturday.

By this time, Wild Card security chief Rob Peters had allowed a few fans in, and as soon as Pacquiao hit the first note, that of the Beatles’ song, “Imagine,” the crowd had gathered behind the ropes, their cameras on.

It looked like a real concert, and the way he sang, it appeared to be Pacquiao had already won the fight. Should he win, this will be the same Pacquiao his fans would see at the post-fight party somewhere inside the Texas Rangers ballpark.

“Ayos ba? (Is it okay),” he asked some of those watching as he played the guitar.

The group sang a popular Filipino rock song, Mike Hanopol’s “Laki Sa Layaw,” and got the crowd going. Again, Pacquiao hardly looked like a fighter who was just two days away from a very dangerous fight.

But that’s how he does it. Nobody, nobody but him. – Abac Cordero

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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