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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Odds in favor of Pacman, but champ unfazed

HOLLYWOOD — Manny Pacquiao is probably the only favorite in the world who thinks like an underdog.

Betting lines from Sin City placed Pacquiao as the -270 favorite against Ricky Hatton, and yet boxing’s pound-for-pound fighter today, supposed to be the best and the strongest regardless of weight, thinks otherwise.

“Let’s not be over-confident. Let’s not think of this as an easy fight. Let’s think that we’re the underdog,” he said when reminded of the Sportsbook betting lines that placed Hatton as the +210 favorite as of midnight Saturday (Sunday afternoon in Manila).

This means that you need to place $270 on Pacquiao just to win a hundred bucks. A $100 bet on Hatton, on the other hand, and whether he wins by decision or knockout, gives you back $210.

“People put too much trust on me,” said Pacquiao as he wrapped up another three-hour workout at the enclosed Wild Card Gym, a workout that included five rounds of sparring and a great amount of time on the bags, with the ropes and on the mat.

Exactly a week before the fight, Pacquiao seemed clueless why the odds favoring him against the boxer whom he described the other day as “fast, strong and skillful” are that high.

“Pareho lang naman kami may tari (We both have the spurs),” said Pacquiao in between sets for his abdominal exercises that means more than 2,000 crunches a day – in the morning and the afternoon.

Pacquiao said he’s ready to take on the best body blows Hatton could offer.

“Yan ang favorite shot niya eh (That’s his favorite shot),” Pacquiao said as he felt his mid-section.

Pacquiao did three rounds with Uzbek Alisher Rahimov, a quarterfinalist in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and two rounds with David Rodela, who’s been in Pacquiao camps dating back to the Erik Morales fights.

Pacquiao was hot and cold against Rahimov, at times playing around, and put on a show against Rodela who just couldn’t keep up with the Filipino’s quickness with both his hands and feet.

“I always ended up looking where he’s at because he’s so fast. I got dizzy in there,” Rodela said.

Fans were strictly kept out of the gym, and were allowed in, in small groups, by assistant trainer Michael Moorer when Pacquiao was all done and over with. They were allowed to have pictures taken with the boxer, but none of the autograph signing.

Pacquiao went straight to his favorite Thai restaurant, treating friends to his daily splurge that costs him no less than $500 per visit. Then at home, more friends came in, no less than 50 of them cramming the living room, until they were told to leave at around 9 p.m.


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