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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Biggest crowd ever greets Pacman

LAS VEGAS -- Even Manny Pacquiao was surprised by the warm reception he got during his grand arrival Tuesday noon at the Mandalay Bay here.

As soon as he emerged from the 56-seater luxury bus painted with his image, a swarm of television crew and print photographers plus around 300 fans greeted the Filipino ring icon at the hotel lobby, prompting him to continue walking to the revolving door.

As security personnel tried to ward off people, Pacquiao continued walking, arm-in-arm with Top Rank head honcho Bob Arum.

Pacquiao and his entourage, including her mother Dionesia, chief trainer Freddie Roach, assistant trainer Moorer, Chavit Singson and Wakee Salud, headed near the casino, then proceeded to the elevators en route to his suite.

Pacquiao said he was “surprised so many people turned out.”

“It’s bigger than the (Oscar) De La Hoya one,” referring to his grand arrival for their blockbuster welterweight showdown last December.

Pacquiao, clad in khaki slacks, a dark coat and Kangol cap, said he was ready to do battle with Hatton.

Having reached ideal form, Pacquiao only did early morning running at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas track oval and then sweated it out at the IBA Gym late afternoon.

Under the supervision of conditioning coach Alex Ariza, Pacquiao concentrated on fast twitch muscles drills, designed to enhance his speed without losing power.

Later, Roach guided Pacquiao through his routine—shadow sparring, punching mitts, hitting speed balls, skipping —as they mopped up the plans and strategies to be employed against Ricky Hatton when they clash on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) for the Briton's International Boxing Organization light welterweight crown.


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