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Manny sneaks out for brisk workout

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By Abac CorderoManny Pacquiao  ABAC CORDERO
April 28, 2009 12:00 AM 

HOLLYWOOD – Manny Pacquiao hates lazy Sundays.

Ordered to stay home and rest, the Filipino superstar left his apartment very early in the morning, and with a tight crew went to Pan Pacific Park for a 30-minute run, including some wind sprints, shadow boxing and 1,200 crunches/sit-ups that would have made any ordinary athlete faint.

Pacquiao is already in tip-top shape for his coming fight with Ricky Hatton in Las Vegas on Saturday, and his conditioning coach, Alex Ariza, had wanted him to take it easy and not overdo things.

“Alex wanted me to stay home, and skip running. He was afraid I might over-train,” said Pacquiao.

“Kaya nag-nakaw ako (I ended up stealing some workout). Ayaw na nila ako patakbuhin talaga, sobra-sobra na daw (They didn’t want me to go out and run because it’s been too much),” he added.

Pacquiao said weight is not an issue even if his last fight against Oscar dela Hoya last December was at 147 pounds. He did not say how much he weighs now.

“There’s no problem with the weight. I will be at 140 and 145 on the day of the fight will be fine,” added Pacquiao who weighed in at 142 and climbed the ring against Dela Hoya at 148 1/2 pounds.

Pacquiao said he left his apartment at 6:30 a.m. and was done with everything after more than an hour, just enough for him to catch the 8:30 a.m. Mass at the nearby Christ the King Church.

At around noon, he welcomed a horde of friends inside his apartment, most of whom were there to take part in the “weight-loss challenge” put up by the boxer three weeks ago.

Pacquiao will close out his sparring Monday at the Wild Card Gym. Freddie Roach should be back in charge after being away for three days and manning Gerry Peñalosa’s corner in Puerto Rico the other night.

Pacquiao, based on the plan, will do four rounds to close his total rounds of sparring to 149, just about the same number he’s done in equally big fights against Juan Manuel Marquez, David Diaz and Dela Hoya.

It’s all part of the tapering off barely a week to the fight, and two months after the training began.

“We just have to maintain things. Sweat it out, go through the motion,” said Pacquiao who leaves for Las Vegas in the afternoon. There’s a customized bus ready to take him to Sin City but the boxer may opt to board his Lincoln Navigator for the 300-mile journey.

The formal welcome ceremony for Pacquiao in Las Vegas will take place at the MGM Grand on Tuesday at 11:30 a.m., and Hatton, training in Vegas for almost three weeks now, will take his turn at 1:30 p.m.

Hatton will do a very brief media workout shortly after the formalities. On Wednesday, the final press conference will take place, and the following day will be marked with roundtable interviews with the trainers. Friday is the official weigh-in.

Notes: Only 56 of the 74 survivors passed the final test in Manny Pacquiao’s weight-loss challenge where losing 10 percent of one’s body weight in three weeks was rewarded with $3,000 (or roughly P150,000). A total of 84 persons signed up, but 10 of them called it quits as the days went by. Mike Koncz, the boxer’s Canadian adviser, was in strong contention for the $10,000 top prize for the “biggest loser.” Pacquiao stepped out of his bedroom at noon carrying the official scale, and stashed somewhere was the $200,000 in cash that he was ready to give away... There are butterflies in the stomach of Jinkee Pacquiao, the boxer’s wife. Days into the fight, she said she can feel all the pressure because she knows that Ricky Hatton is one tough cookie. “In all my husband’s fights I felt this way, too. I think it’s just normal. But of course I’m confident that he’d win. It’s just getting scary as the fight nears. I know Ricky Hatton is strong, too,” said Jinkee who will have Pacquiao’s mother, Dionisia, sitting near her at ringside. It’s the first time the boxer’s mother came to see him fight in the US. Will she bring luck? The question remains.

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