MANILA, Philippines – Champion boxer-congressman Manny Pacquiao arrived in Baguio City Sunday afternoon for the next phase of his build-up against Mexican Antonio Margarito.
Team Pacquiao will be staying in Baguio for 3 weeks where the high altitude, terrain and isolation are expected to give the Filipino superstar everything he needs to prepare for his November 13 bout.
“Sa Baguio namin makukuha ang resistensiya dahil high-altitude training ito. Bukod sa walang masyadong traffic, mas sariwa ang hangin sa City of Pines,” he said in his “Kumbinasyon” column on PhilBoxing.com.
Pacquiao arrived at the Cooyeesan Hotel at around 5 p.m. on Sunday.
After a brief rest, he went straight to the dining area to eat fried chicken, nilagang baka (beef stew or boiled beef soup) and pansit (noodles).
The Filipino champion said he is positive that his training in Baguio City will be successful.
He also said that he is happy to have his dog, “Pacman” the Jack Russel Terrier, on board for his Baguio training.
The first of a projected 140 rounds of sparring will begin on Tuesday. By the third week of October, Team Pacquiao will continue training in the United States.
Pacquiao admitted that he and coach Freddie Roach are bracing for a tough training camp because they are preparing to face a tall, big and strong fighter in Margarito.
“Para maging handa kami sa anumang maaaring mangyari sa laban ay kinakailangan naming magsakripisyo nang mahaba at wasto,” he said. “Walang madaling landas na tatahakin para makamit ang ginto sa ilalim ng bahag-hari at kung ako ay magpapabaya sa training, ako rin ang mahihirapan sa huli.”
Roach: Manny works harder than Antonio
Roach said they have yet to finalize their game plan against Margarito, but insisted that Pacquiao already knows what to do against his taller but much slower opponent.
He, however, is confident that no matter how long and hard the Mexican trains, it will not make a difference in the fight.
“Even if he works hard, nobody works hard like Manny. Nobody,” the American trainer told Abac Cordero of The Philippine Star.
Margarito is currently training in El Monte, California and will continue his camp in Oxnard.
Roach and conditioning coach Alex Ariza earlier commented that they are happy with how things have been coming along in Pacquiao’s training.
During the first day of the workout session, Roach observed that Pacquiao’s speed and power were evident.
“We are ahead of schedule… I’m happy with what’s going on right now,” said Roach.
Pacquiao and Margarito will fight for the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) super welterweight title at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. – With reports from ANC, PhilBoxing.com, Abac Cordero of The Philippine Star and Dyan Castillejo of ABS-CBN News