By Robert Hough
Manny Pacquiao, smiling all the time under drizzly San Francisco skies, said he’s ready to start training for his fight with Miguel Cotto—and determined to live a dream that has nothing to do with boxing, singing, movies or politics. Pacquiao, who spoke to Fightnews after a brief, chaotic press conference and fan event at AT&T Park to promote his November 14th fight with Miguel Cotto, related last year that he dreams of visiting Vatican City. “I have not been there yet, but I will go with my family, hopefully not too long after this fight,” the devout Catholic said after the 25-minute event with his trainer, Freddie Roach; Cotto; and others. “It is important for me to go there. It is a dream I have had for a long time.”
While Pacquiao is determined to travel to Italy at some point, Roach knows he’ll soon travel to the Philippines to train his fighter, much as he’s perhaps unclear about the precise destination.
Asked about the tax-related matters that are limiting his fighter’s time in the USA, Roach told the crowd of about 3,000, “We’ll be fine in—where is it we’re going?” he turned and asked Pacquiao.
Roach told Fightnews after the event that he’s got a game plan to defeat Cotto and will conduct training accordingly—in Baguio and California.
“I know what we’ll work on to be ready,” he said. “I think we have a good plan that will be effective.”
Cotto, who started training about a month ago, said he believes the extra time will make a difference.
“I will be ready for a hard fight,” the Puerto Rican boxer told the crowd.
Roach’s first choice was to train in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, because it would minimize travel and time changes, but he’s confident that he’ll get the needed peace and quiet in the Northwest corner of the Philippines.
“I’ve talked to people so I’m confident that it will work out fine,” he said after the event. “It’s out of the way, so there won’t be a lot of people around. We’ll have eight weeks of good training, which is what we’ve always had.”
Roach believes Cotto’s extra time in camp will not make a difference.
“Everyone does what’s best for them,” he said as he headed to a waiting van for a ride to the airport and a flight to Los Angeles. “We’ve always trained Manny for eight weeks and I’d say it’s worked out pretty well so far.”
After four weeks in the Northwest corner of the Philippines, Roach and Pacquiao will jet to Los Angeles for four weeks of training in Hollywood’s Wild Card Boxing Club.
Regardless of location or locations, the Filipino star feels it’s time to go after it.
“I’m ready to start training,” he said at the waterfront stadium. “It’s time to start getting ready.”
He walked away a couple steps toward a waiting Cadillac Escalade, stopped, turned back and smiled.
“I am excited.”