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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Conditioning, speed to propel Pacquiao to victory vs 'Hitman'

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao is undaunted in facing a fighter who claims to be “too big" for him, saying his conditioning and speed would overturn whatever advantage Ricky Hatton appears to have.

Pacquiao is set to climb the ring on May 2 against Hatton, the International Boxing Organization world junior welterweight champion who asserts the 140-lb division to be his own turf.

The Filipino dynamo has only recently jumped into the heavier weight categories after starting as flyweight (106-lbs) and making waves at the superfly (112-lbs), super bantam (122-lbs), feather (126-lbs) and superfeather (130-lbs) classes.

The 30-year-old GenSan native made his first foray against the bigger boys last year in style, knocking out David Diaz in 9 for the WBC lightweight (135-lb) crown. He followed it up with a sensational trip into the welterweight (147-lb) wars, demolishing the Golden Boy Oscar De La Hoya in 9 to cement his claim as the planet’s best fighter, pound for pound.

Such scintillating showing against “bigger" foes has given Pacquiao enough confidence he can hurdle Hatton, a natural junior welter campaigner.

“I’m not fighting ‘big.’ I’m in a fight against a fighter who believes in himself. Now it is a matter of who trains harder and who has more speed. I plan to train harder than I did for the De La Hoya fight and I believe I have more speed," Pacquiao told reporters during Monday’s press conference in London.

The hard-hitting Filipino was reacting to Hatton’s statements about his supposed size advantage.

“I’ve have never been beaten at 10 stones (140 pounds) which is my best weight when I go into the ring. You know I’m just too big for you," Hatton told Pacquiao during their face-to-face with the British press.

Unlike his chief trainer Freddie Roach who boldly predicted a KO win in the late rounds, Pacquiao would only say when asked who would win: "Only God knows that."

After they’re finished with their promotional duties in London, Pacquiao and his team will take a flight to Los Angeles on Tuesday. Pacquiao will begin his rigorous training at the famed Wild Card gym later in the week. –GMANews.TV


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