MANILA, Philippines – Filipino boxing champion Manny Pacquiao has locked his focus on boxing as he enters the final weeks of training.
The 7-division world champion is after an 8th title, the World Boxing Council (WBC) super welterweight crown, against the "Tijuana Tornado" of Mexico, Antonio Margarito.
The fight will take place on November 13 at the Cowboy's Stadium in Texas.
“Thirteen rounds, then shadow boxing, speed bag, and punching ball, and skipping rope. As usual, we do like 29 rounds today... so that's a lot," said Pacquiao of his regimen following his arrival in US over the weekend.
His coach, Freddie Roach, is happy now that his prized fighter is again training at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles (LA).
Roach said that although there are still distractions for Pacquiao in LA, they are far less than the Filipino’s non-boxing activities in the Philippines.
“Everybody wants a piece of him, everyone wants an autograph of him, everyone's interviewing him, but we try to keep it to a minimum as much as we can just to keep him focused,” said the 50-year-old Hall of Fame boxing coach.
Pacquiao knows the fight is just around the corner, and Roach said this awareness makes his fighter more focused.
“Once he's in LA, he knows the fight's close, he's all business,” said the American trainer.
Aside from World Boxing Association (WBA) light welterweight champion Amir Khan, spar mates Rashad Halloway and Ray Beltran have rejoined Pacquiao's camp.
Roach still has the $1,000 reward for anyone of the sparring partners who can knock down Pacquiao.
"We're here now, he's on fire today," said Roach.
|Boxing coach Freddie Roach
Pacquiao said he is ready to wage war against the 5’11” Margarito.
“Ready na tayo at ano na lang, maintain na lang natin, at climatize the weather, at saka speed (We’re ready, we’re just maintaining what we have, acclimatizing, then also working for speed),” he said.
Margarito, meanwhile, is confident he can upset the pound-for-pound champion.
In episode 1 of boxing documentary HBO 24/7 Pacquiao-Margarito, the Tijuana Tornado said there is a great chance for him to stop the 5’6” Filipino champion.
“I feel powerful. I feel good about knocking him out,” said the Mexican. “The truth is, I think I have the power to succeed and beat Manny Pacquiao.” -- With a report from Dyan Castillejo, ABS-CBN News, and Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau