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Sunday, January 24, 2010


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By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Sun, 24 Jan 2010

Manny Pacquiao, the reigning world pound-for-pound king looks like “he didn’t take time out” after his 12th round TKO victory over WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas last November.

That’s the assessment of conditioning expert Alex Ariza after Pacquiao had two days of workouts at trainer Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym.

Ariza said Pacquiao did several rounds on the punch-mitts and his usual routine but would start his strength and conditioning exercises on Monday. Ariza said Pacquiao planned to begin sparring on Thursday. Ariza added, “he is looking sharp already” in preparation for his title defense against tough Joshua Clottey at the $1.2 billion Dallas Cowboys stadium on March 13.

Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz told us that Pacquiao’s training “went very well. Training is going good and Manny is feeling good.”

Broadcaster Hermie Rivera who lives in California and is well known for having steered Luisito Espinosa to the world bantamweight title and Morris East to the light welterweight crown informed us that he had spoken to Roach about Pacquiao’s training and quoted Roach as telling him, “Pretty good on the first day. No problem at all. He was punching hard. He’s weighing 149 pounds right now. Perfect for the agreed upon welterweight limit.

Asked about what they could expect from Clottey, Roach said “He’ll be aggressive. He’ll try to kill us. He comes forward, he’s strong and he fights. That’s what he does. Its not a problem. I’m reviewing tapes on how Clottey handles lefties.”

Roach added that “If a knockout comes that would be our bonus but I’ll be getting ready for twelve hard rounds.”

The promotional kickoff rites at the venue owned by Jerry Jones followed by a stop at Madison Square Garden spiced up with the attractive Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders has had an early impact on ticket sales.

Top Rank promoter who was at Madison Square Garden for the championship doubleheader featuring undefeated fighters Juan Manuel “Juanma” Lopez and Yuriorkis Gamboa against Steven Luevano and Rogers Mtgawa was obviously happy over the sale of tickets for the Pacquiao-Clottey fight.

ESPN’s Dan Rafael said Arum told him that 20,000 tickets of a planned 40,000 had already been sold in the first three hours of public ticket sales which was preceded by three days of limited pre-sales. The ticket prices ranged from $50 to $700.

Meantime, Clottey was reportedly set to fly home to Accra, the capital of his native Ghana to speak to US Embassy officials and try to facilitate the renewal of the visas of his trainer, Godwin Nii Dzanie Koet and assistant Daniel Clottey which expired in November last year.

While the US Embassy reportedly wanted to further investigate the application of Koet Clottey was said to have been flatly refused a visa.

Top photo: Pacquiao (R) and Roach (L) during the news conference in New York last week. Photo by Chris Farina / Top Rank.


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