Pac-Man ready for chapter III vs. Morales

By Alex Stone


Pac-Man ready for chapter III vs. Morales

On Saturday, November 18, 2006 at the Thomas & Mack center in Las Vegas, Manny Pacquiao, 42-3-2 with 33 KOs, and Erik Morales, 48-4 with 34 KOs, will get in on one last time in a highly anticipated rubber match entitled “The Grand Finale.” Once again Boxingtalk was on hand for a conference call, this time with Pacquiao. Their series of bouts so far is split, with Morales winning the first by a slim decision and Pacquiao winning the second by knockout. “My feeling is that we’re all ready, 100 percent for next Saturday,” said Pacquiao to begin the conference. Word on the street is that the Pac-Man had been training like an animal, sparring many rounds, and is looking to take out Morales early. When asked by Boxingtalk, Pacquiao confirmed the talk, saying, “I am ready.  I have sparred over 150 rounds. I am not going to promise a knockout, but I am going to try my best.”

When asked what he though of Morales’ "Velocity" training, Pacquiao let everyone know that he was not worried. “I think Morales’ Velocity training will help him make weight. I am training hard to fight in the ring, not to make weight,” said Pacquiao.

Well just how hard has the Pac-Man been working? “Manny always looks terrific,” said promoter Bob Arum. “He’s like the energizer bunny, he just keeps coming and coming and coming, and he never gets tired. If you want to beat Manny, you have to be in the best condition possible.”

This potential fight of the year candidate has already sold out, and Pacquiao plans to give the fans exactly what they want. “Morales is a very good fighter, and he will train hard. I’ve trained hard. I’m sure it’s going to be a good fight. The people will like it. All the people who love boxing, I want to make them happy,” states Pacquiao. “As good as the first two fights were, the third will be the best. This fight will be remembered in boxing history forever, it must be,” said Arum.

There has been some controversy over the WBC attempting to call this fight an elimination bout, thus extracting bogus sanctioning fees. When asked by Boxingtalk, promoter Shelly Finkel was more than happy to clear up the issue. “Manny’s WBC International super featherweight title will be the one on the line. This is not an eliminator bout.” Regardless of what the sanctioning bodies call this, Marco Antonio Barrera is the generally recognized world champion at 130 pounds, and who ever emerges victorious on Saturday will be in position to fight Barrera in what has been a long-running series of great fights between Barrera, Pacquiao and Morales.

Speaking of big fights, Pacquiao dominated Barrera on the scorecards before stopping him in the 11th round of their first and only meeting in 2003. Boxingtalk inquired if Barrera, or anyone else for that matter, was in Pacquiao’s sights after Morales. “I don’t really want to look ahead of this fight,” said Pacquiao, “After this fight I’m going to spend time with my family.”

Though he is only 27, Pacquiao began his career at the age of 16, and has been in a number of brutal battles, collecting two world titles, as well as two regional titles in four weight classes. When asked about his longevity in the sport, Pacquiao let everyone know that he is “not thinking about retiring yet.” If he was to retire, however, the Pac-Man wouldn’t be at a loss for income. Pacquiao is the single biggest attraction in the Philippines, period. He could easily fall back on some of the movies or commercials that he’s recently been involved it.

Pacquiao was also questioned about his decision to fight in the USA
more often than in Asia recently. Pacquiao simply states “There are a lot of good fighters here in America. I can fight anywhere; I just want a big fight.”

For those who are sick of shelling out money for PPV duds, you won’t want to miss this potentially action-packed bout. Pacquiao vs. Morales III “The Grand Finale” is available on HBO Pay-Per-View.