Pacquiao diary: Fight week is here
Editor’s note: This is the third of four diary entries, exclusive to Yahoo! Sports, from Manny Pacquiao, the No. 1 fighter in the Y! Sports pound-for-pound poll. Pacquiao fights Ricky Hatton at super lightweight Saturday night on HBO Pay Per View in the biggest fight so far in 2009.
Well, fight week is here and I’m going to be honest with you: I couldn’t be more excited. My fight with Ricky Hatton on Saturday at the MGM Grand is very important for both of us and we both want to win badly.
I finished up my sparring at the Wild Card Gym on Saturday. I left Hollywood, Calif., this morning to make the trip to Las Vegas for the fight.
I’ll stay in a very nice suite at the MGM Grand and a lot of my family, friends and camp members will be in the suite with me. Some people find it surprising how many people stay in the same room I’m in, but I enjoy being around the people who are closest to me and I can relax by having fun with them.
We also cook in the room and, given how many people stay in the room, it seems like we never get out of the kitchen. The room always smells like fresh food. Some of you might be surprised to know that during fight week, everything I drink is at room temperature because I don’t want to shock my system. After the weigh-in, then I can have cold drinks, because I feel it’s time to get ready for the fight.
I’m always happy when I arrive in Las Vegas, because I know that’s a sign that the fight is almost here. I’m in great shape and I’ve worked really hard to be able to put on a great performance in this fight.
Some people say that when I fight, there is no crime or violence back home, in the Philippines. If that’s true, I’d fight every day. I am proud of my country and I want to make my people proud of me. Anything I can do to help them, I will.
This week, I’ll go to the gym every day, but the hard work is over. I’m just mostly going to go to stay active and be careful with the weight. I have to make 140 pounds at the weigh-in on Friday and while that won’t be a problem, I have to keep an eye on it.
We’ve watched a lot of tapes of Ricky Hatton fights and I think I have a pretty good idea of what he can do in the ring. I think I have some advantages, but I don’t like to talk about those things. He’s a very good fighter, but I think you’ll see my advantages when the fight begins.
Since I defeated Oscar De La Hoya in December, I’m getting so much more attention now than I was before. I had to do a conference call with reporters on Friday, which I did, even though I really wanted to get to the gym to train.
I have so much respect for Oscar and what he accomplished. Someone asked me if I wanted to break Oscar’s pay-per-view records. Of course, that would be nice, but I don’t want to say too much about it because I don’t want anyone to think I’m disrespecting Oscar and his accomplishments.
I’m at a stage in my career now where almost all of my fights are big fights. That is what it takes to get motivated to fight my best. I’m still the same person I always have been, but a lot more people are paying attention to what I’m doing.
That’s good in a way, because it helps boxing and it helps sell the fights. It’s a lot of work, but it’s a part of the job.
I hope to see all of my fans at the weigh-in on Friday. I know Ricky’s fans were very loud and cheering hard for him when he fought Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2007, and because he’s popular, his fans will be back. But I know I have great fans and I like how hard they support me.
I’ll see you at the weigh-in and I’ll give you one last report after it’s over and let you know what I’m thinking less than 24 hours before I fight Ricky.