(PHOTO AT LEFT - Manny Pacquiao does a Bruce Lee on top of the ring. ABAC CORDERO]

HOLLYWOOD, NOVEMBER 8, 2010 (STAR) By Abac Cordero  – Antonio Margarito is no more than a good body puncher.

At least, that’s how Manny Pacquiao sees his opponent on Nov. 13 at the Cowboys Stadium in Texas.

“Body puncher lang eh (Just a body puncher),” said the reigning pound-for-pound champion Saturday when interviewed on top of the ring of the Wild Card Gym.

Pacquiao was in a jolly mood the whole day, and even when he sparred five rounds against Rashad Holloway and Dave Rodela, it looked like he was just having fun.

But it wasn’t really fun for Holloway and Rodela, who took heavy blows from Pacquiao, and landed a few only when the Filipino icon allowed himself to get hit.

He pointed to his mid-section as he fielded questions from reporters as if to say that he’s ready to take Margarito’s best body punches on fight night.

Pacquiao said Margarito loves to throw the uppercut.

“Left and right,” he said.

Margarito has knocked 27 of his 45 opponents, 38 of them he had beaten. But Pacquiao doesn’t think that the taller, bigger and heavier Mexican will chalk up another win soon.

He said Margarito throws his punches wide, and when he does it on Saturday, he’d get hit even before he gets to throw them.

“May tama na (He’d get hit),” said Pacquiao.

Freddie Roach has the same observation of Margarito, who outpointed Joshua Clottey in 2006 and knocked out Miguel Cotto in 2007 before getting knocked out by Shane Mosley in 2009.

Pacquiao, 51-3-2 with 38 KOs, also outpointed Clottey and knocked Cotto out. In six days, he should add Margarito to his list of victims.

“We will beat him to the punch every time. He is very slow,” said Roach.

“He is a decent body-puncher but he really, really telegraphs those punches, really, really long and Manny will work on the counter shot,” added the celebrated trainer.

“Margarito pulls back and cocks his punches and he is wide open. He will get knocked out.”

Pacquiao is ready to rumble, saying the difficulties in the early weeks of his training are in his rearview mirror now.

“The problem with our training in the Philippines was that I was trying to gain weight there,” said Pacquiao, who at 5’ 6 1/2” will be five inches shorter than Margarito.

“I wanted to get big but it was difficult afterwards. I couldn’t even move. We tried to gain weight because Margarito is bigger. But it turned out to be a bad move,” he said in Filipino.

It’s the reason why Pacquiao has decided to drop the isometric and plyometric exercises, designed to add up to his bulk without really giving up on speed.

“Now I’m just trying to keep my weight at 148 or 147 after training. As long as the speed is there, I’d be fine. I’m totally ready to fight now,” he said.

Margarito ready for big win, breaks camp in Hollywood By Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) Updated November 08, 2010 12:00 AM Comments (0) View comments

HOLLYWOOD – The countdown is on in the Mexican camp.

“We’re just counting the hours,” said Antonio Margarito, who flies to Dallas Sunday (today in Manila) for a fan rally at the Dallas Market Hall at 1 p.m. and an open workout at the La Gran Plaza Mall at 3 p.m.

Pacquiao takes a day off today in LA, his last heading to the fight, but may go out for a morning run and to hear Mass at the Christ the King Church down Vine Street.

Pacquiao flies to Dallas on Monday.

“Honestly I’m not worried about anything,” Margarito told HBO’s 24/7.

Margarito has trained longer, and probably harder than Pacquiao, but may need more than that for him to get past the quick and hard-punching Filipino congressman from Sarangani.

But he thinks otherwise.

“I believe I will win this fight,” said the Mexican who stands just under six feet.

He said he really doubts if Pacquiao, who started out as a skinny 106 lb fighter in 1995, a year after Margarito made his own pro debut, could fight as a super-welterweight.

Margarito said the 154 lb division, even if the coming fight is pegged at a catchweight of 150 lb, is too big, too wide for Pacquiao.

“It’s impossible,” he said of whether Pacquiao could bring the same power he had in winning seven world titles in seven different weight classes to this class.

“I’m sure Manny will say, ‘What have I gotten (myself) into?’” added Margarito.

“He talks too much. Let’s get this on,” Pacquiao said, facing the HBO camera , smiling.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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