Manny Pacquiao and Freddie Roach have remained as polite as ever but clearly they’re tired of all the questions about whether Pacquiao is ready to face Antonio Margarito on Nov. 13 at Cowboys Stadium.
They haven’t denied reports that Pacquiao had a sub-par camp in the Philippines as a result of distractions. But it’s quite a leap to presume that one of the most-dedicated fighters in the world is somehow ill prepared for the task at hand.
“I believe [there might be a problem] with distractions if you don’t do your job or train,” Pacuqiao said on a conference call Wednesday, responding to one of several questions about his condition. “You train hard, you do your job. … Of course the focus is still there. I mean there’s nothing to worry about.”
Someone suggested that Margarito, also a hard worker, might’ve pushed himself harder than Pacquiao. Roach scoffed.
“No way he’s worked harder than us,” he said. “We’re in great shape for this fight. We’ll show you on Nov. 13.”
Roach had said earlier: “In the Philippines, we had a good training camp. It wasn’t our best. We did miss one day for [a meeting with the President of the Philippines], which is unusual. We haven’t had a bad camp, though. We’re in shape. Since we’ve been in L.A., Manny has been running in the mountains by the Hollywood sign. Everything is on track. We’re 100 percent.
“Manny has guaranteed that he won’t disappoint me. I know this is true.”
Following the Rangers: Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter, was asked whether any letdown following the Texas Rangers’ run to the World Series might adversely affect ticket sales at Cowboys Stadium, which is adjacent to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.
On the contrary.
“I think it’s good when a team in the area is as successful as the Rangers,” Arum said. “It’s stimulates interest, drives the readers to the sports pages.”
Arum expects the crowd at Cowboys Stadium to exceed the 50,994 that Pacquiao-Joshua Clottey drew in March. He believes more than 60,000 fans will pack the state-of-the-art stadium.
“The response to ticket sales has been great,” Arum said. “We’re tracking well ahead of where we were for the Clottey fight. So I’m very optimistic. It’s a great area. … They have great fans in the Texas area.”
Power broker: Arum, a big supporter of Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, asked Pacquiao to fly to Las Vegas last Friday to speak at a rally on the Democratic senator’s behalf four days before the election and he did so.
The promoter was asked Wednesday whether Pacquiao might’ve made a difference in Reid’s battle with Republican Sharron Angle.
“You gotta realize that next to Hispanics, Filipinos are the largest [minority] ethnic group in Nevada,” Arum said. “Harry’s victory was a result of tremendous support from both the Hispanic and Filipino communities. The pluralities he rolled up with those two groups carried him through.
“Manny has to get a lot of credit for his help backing Sen. Reid.”
It should be pointed out that Reid won the election by six percentage points, 50 percent to 44 percent.
Thus, if what Arum said is true, a lot of conservative Nevadans will be rooting for Margarito on Nov. 13.
Kimmel show: Pacquiao and comedian Will Ferrell sang John Lennon’s “Imagine” together on the Jimmy Kimmel Show on Monday.
His handlers gave him rave reviews.
“I thought he was very good,” Arum said. “I’m a huge Beatles fan. They’re my favorite. I love that song. I think Manny did a wonderful job.”
Said Roach: “I thought it was great. I saw it the next morning on a computer. He looked relaxed, like he had a lot of fun. And Will Ferrell. I didn’t know what a good singer he is. I enjoyed it a lot.”
Margarito, who joined the call after Pacquiao, wasn’t as charitable.
“All can tell you is that he’s a better boxer than a singer,” he said through a translator.