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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I’m prepared, ready to go – Pacquiao

LAS VEGAS — Holding court in his swanky suite at the 60th floor of The Hotel at Mandalay Bay moments after arriving here Monday night, Manny Pacquiao spoke the language of supreme confidence as he revs up for the biggest bout of his life – a crossroads clash with British banger Ricky Hatton – this weekend at the nearby MGM Grand.

“I have done my part in training and I will just make sure that I maintain this condition until the fight,” Pacquiao told Manila-based scribes. “I am prepared for whatever Hatton brings to the ring.”

It is common knowledge that Pacquiao loves opponents who rush inside but in the event Hatton decides to box from a distance – or even engage him in close quarters combat complete with roughhousing – the pound-for-pound king insists he is ready.

“The people know that my style is in-and-out fighting, waiting for the right time to deliver the power shots but I am also prepared to engage him at close range as I trained heavily for that kind of situation,” said Pacquiao.

It’s been anticipated that Hatton will not waste time in attempting to get his licks in as soon as possible but Pacquiao is optimistic that his quickness and overall skills will frustrate the Manchester native.

Still, Pacquiao politely declines to say at what stage of the fight he will pull the plug on Hatton’s bid.

“It’s hard to say and it’s not for me to say what will happen. Let’s just let our fists do all the talking,” said Pacquiao, who rode in his Lincoln Navigator with wife Jinkee in the 300-mile journey to Sin City from Hollywood.

Pacquiao completed his sparring session earlier in the day in Los Angeles, going four rounds with Uzbek Alisher Rahimov and David Rodela, to rack up 149 sparring rounds since he started banging bodies in the third week of March.

Pacquiao is a -270 favorite, while Hatton is +230, meaning a $270 bet on Pacquiao will win just $100, and a $100 wager on Hatton will win $230.

Meanwhile, formal arrival rites take place Tuesday at noon for Pacquiao at the Mandalay Bay, while Hatton will have his at the neighboring MGM Grand at 1:30 p.m.

The press conference will follow on Wednesday and Friday will be the official weighin.


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