Pacquiao diary: The time is near

Editor’s note: This is the fourth and final diary entry, 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.

LAS VEGAS – It's been a long time coming, but fight night is just about here. I am really excited, and I have a little extra motivation on my side this time when I fight Ricky Hatton at the MGM Grand Garden.

My mother, Dionisia, made her first trip to the United States. She has never seen me fight and isn't planning to actually be in the arena on Saturday. It's hard for her to see me fight. But she's in town and she's an inspiration to me.

I want to perform my best for all of my fans who have given me such great support, but also for my mother. She's been an inspiration to me and I want to make her proud. I have a lot of respect for Ricky Hatton, and I know this isn't going to be an easy fight. One of the main reasons I have trained so hard for the fight is because I know how good he is and what would happen if I did not.

I believe I will win the fight, but I don't want to take anything away from Ricky. He has been a champion for many years, and he has a great record. This is a fight that a lot of people have said they want to see, and one of my goals is always to give the people the kinds of fights they want.

I don't know Ricky all that well, but I think he feels the same way. You can tell by the way he fights. His fans love him and give him good support because he fights with all of his heart for them.

The last couple of days before a fight are tough. Most of the hard work is done, though I did spar again on Monday. I didn't think I would, but Freddie Roach felt it was important for me to do it. He said when he fought, his trainer, Eddie Futch, would have him spar on Wednesday before the fight so he didn't lose his edge. I want to be sharp, so Freddie thought it would be good to spar one last time on Monday.

But in addition to maintaining my sharpness and making weight, there was a lot of work to do to promote the fight. Both Ricky and I have done hundreds of interviews, but it really goes up a lot in the final couple of days.

The final press conference was on Wednesday. There were so many reporters and television cameras there, it was hard to believe. We had to answer the same questions we'd answered so many times before, but we did it.

On Thursday, we had to do what they call a satellite tour. I sat in a chair and they had me do interviews with a lot of television stations. I do this before all of my fights, but there were a lot more for this one than there ever were before.

A great thing happened to me on Wednesday. I got a chance to meet former U.S. President Bill Clinton. He is a great man, and it was an honor for me to meet him. He was eating at Mandalay Bay and wanted a chance to meet me.

He's a big boxing fan. We talked a lot about boxing. He asked about my fights and he told one of my trainers, Michael Moorer, that he watched his heavyweight championship fight with Evander Holyfield many years ago.

He also told me that he went to college with Philippines President Arroyo.

It was a treat for me to have the privilege to meet him and talk with him for a few minutes.

It was also a treat for me to do this diary on Yahoo! Sports and let you know from my perspective how things have been going prior to the big fight. I'm excited for the fight and I promise I will fight as hard as I can to make my country and all of my fans proud. I hope you have a chance to watch the fight, either live or on pay-per-view. Most of all, I hope that everybody likes it and that no one gets hurt.