MANILA, Philippines-- Pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao has decided to set up his training camp in Baguio City as earlier wished for by celebrated trainer Freddie Roach and conditioning expert Alex Ariza.
“We are going to train in Baguio like we trained for the fight with (Miguel) Cotto” said Pacquiao the other day after a “Development Partners Night” dinner he hosted at the New World Hotel where he sought investments in Sarangani province which he represents in Congress.
Pacquiao said he would start training “next week which will give me eight weeks of preparation” for his Nov. 13 fight with Mexican Antonio Margarito for the vacant WBC super welterweight crown at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
He also expressed his gratitude to former Rizal Gov. Casimiro “Ito” Ynares for offering the Ynares Sports Center in Pasig City or a sprawling site in Antipolo as alternative training venue.
Pacquiao trained in Baguio for his WBO welterweight title fight against Cotto, which he won by a 12th round TKO last November.
Michael Koncz, Pacquiao’s adviser, told the Inquirer that Ariza would arrive earlier and take a brief vacation before the training camp opens on Sept. 20.
Roach is scheduled to arrive on Sept. 18 along with undefeated Julio Cesar Chavez who will serve as one of Pacquiao’s sparring partners.
The son of the famous Julio Cesar Chavez is also preparing for his scheduled Dec. 4 title fight against WBO light middleweight champion Cotto.
Pacquiao actually started jogging yesterday at Brentville in Santa Rosa, Laguna where he has a home. He did a series of exercises and some shadow-boxing and appeared in surprisingly good shape according to his Filipino trainer Buboy Fernandez.
Pacquiao said during the dinner party that he was working overtime in pursuing his responsibilities as a congressman and indicated it all boils down to “time management.”
He said his weight is no problem and he currently tips the scales between 149 and 151 lbs. His fight with Margarito will be at the catchweight of 150.
Told that bookmakers had established him as a heavy favorite to beat Margarito, Pacquiao said “the belief of the fans in me is remarkable. I thank them for their support and confidence.”