Against the biggest opponent he'll ever face in his career, Manny Pacquiao is applying the same kind of training regimen he did in beating Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto.
Pacquiao believes two months of intense training – the first half in the mountains of Baguio and the final leg at the comforts of the Wild Card gym in Los Angeles – will be good enough for him to get in shape for his November 13 title bout with the massive and ever dangerous Antonio Margarito.
Training camp begins on September 20 at the Cooyesan Hotel in the country's summer capital, the same place where a built-in ring was made to accommodate Pacquiao and his entourage while preparing for his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight fight against Cotto last year.
One by one, Pacquiao's training team will come over here, starting with conditioning coach Alex Ariza on September 13, and then followed by chief trainer Freddie Roach and sparring partner Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
"We'll follow the same routine when I was training for my fight against Cotto," said Pacquiao when GMANews.TV caught up with him at the New World Hotel late Wednesday during the Development Partners’ Night, a fund raising event the boxing star hosted for the planned establishment of the district hospital in the province of Sarangani, where he also serves as congressman.
Pacquiao beat Cotto in their 2009 meeting at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, pulling off a technical knockout win in the 12th round of a bloody and action-packed match.
Margarito, who stands 5-foot-11, also owns an impressive knockout win over Cotto two years ago, a result that later would be tainted in the light of the illegal hand wrapping scandal the Mexican boxing star from Tijuana got involved with moments before his title bout with Sugar Shane Mosley.
Unlike Cotto and Joshua Clottey – the last two men Pacquiao fought in the ring – the 31-year-old Filipino ring idol admitted not having seen Margarito fought in person.
Still that doesn't make him bothered opposite the man they dubbed the 'Tijuana Tornado.'
Former Manila mayor Lito Atienza, one of Pacquiao's closest advisors, however, feels differently.
Atienza considers the 32-year old Mexican brawler a very dangerous opponent for the Pacman, even going to the extent of referring to him as a 'mountain.'
"He's a mountain. Manny needs to prepare hard for this fight. The guy's a giant," Atienza told GMANews.TV during the same fund-raising affair.
"It's going to be a tough fight, so Manny has to prepare hard against Margarito. I'm a bit worried, but I know Manny can beat him," added the former Manila mayor. – JVP, GMANews.TV