07/12/2009 09:46

Manny Pacquiao, a hero to millions across the Philippines and around the world and the world’s pound-for-pound king is thrilled about his fight for the ages against undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr, the former pound-for-pound maestro.

An exuberant Pacquiao met us at the lobby of the New World Hotel early Saturday morning after returning to his hotel following an all-night shooting of his movie “Wapakman” and a few racks of pool and said “come on, let’s go up to my room” which happened to be a suite.

He raised his T-shirt to show us his finely chiseled abdomen and had us feel his upper arms which were like rock and then covered up like he did at times in his “Fire Power” showdown with WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto and said “come on Mayweather, lets see what you’ve got.”

A smiling, confident Pacquiao said he used the same tactics against Cotto because “it was mind-conditioning. I wanted him to be scared. I wanted to show him I could take his best shots because before the fight they always said Cotto was stronger and bigger. That’s why in the fight I wanted to prove that I was bigger and stronger.”

Many fights fans have wondered how the skinny kid who fought as a light flyweight when he was 16 years old could have blossomed into a 147 pound welterweight as he nears the age of 31 and hit with such incredible power. “My power comes from God and in my heart” he answered without batting an eyelash.

Pacquiao didn’t wish to in anyway belittle Mayweather but indirectly gave him and his trash-taking father Floyd Mayweather Sr some unsolicited advice.

With a hearty laugh when asked about the remarks of Mayweather Sr, Pacquiao said “we can become famous without being arrogant. We can stay humble without resorting to trash talk. It's not good being a champion idolized by everybody especially the young kids. Trash-talking is not a good example to the young. That’s very important.”

Pacquiao revealed that for some time now he hasn’t fallen prey to the temptation of having a beer or any hard liquor while shooting his movie or playing pool and has maintained his physical condition by playing basketball. He stressed, “I haven’t touched a drink.”

Sharing Pacquiao’s enthusiasm over the Mayweather fight, adviser Michael Koncz who was the only member of Team Pacquiao to sit in on the discussions between Pacquiao and Top Rank promoter Bob Arum and reportedly provided valuable insights and inputs that helped get the deal done comparatively quickly, said he too was “very excited about this fight."

Koncz told, Standard Today and Viva Sports "Mayweather was the pound-for-pound fighter for many years. He has a different and very unique style compared to anybody that Manny fought. But I still think he’s going to be surprised with Manny’s power and I think Manny will be able to tag Mayweather because of his speed, not only his hand-speed but his foot-speed.”

Koncz recalled that former WBC lightweight champion David Diaz said it best when he remarked “we all hear and we all know Manny has fast hands but until you get into the ring you don’t know how fast. I think people underestimate his footwork and his lateral movement and what catches his opponents tremendously off-guard is that Manny can throw a power-punch when one shouldn’t be able to do it. Most boxers have to have both feet planted on the canvas but Manny can do it off one foot and has knocked people out that way.”

The fighter whom Top Rank promoter Bob Arum considers the greatest of all-time surpassing even heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali who was a towering international personality promoted by Arum himself, indicated that his running for the lone congressional district in Sarangani won’t interfere with his training for the Mayweather fight or diminish his focus.

Ranged against a reluctant candidate who is much older than him, Pacquiao said as far as his campaign is concerned “everything is in place and we are ready.”