The Malaysian Insider :: Sports

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The Malaysian Insider :: Sports


Pacquiao’s training camp best ever, says trainer Roach

Posted: 20 Apr 2011 08:06 PM PDT

Pacquiao trains with Roach (left) during a media workout at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Los Angeles yesterday, April 20, 2011. — Reuters pic

LOS ANGELES, April 21 — Manny Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach sounded an ominous warning for Shane Mosley yesterday, saying his fighter had never prepared better for a bout ahead of their May 7 showdown in Las Vegas.

Roach had been critical of Pacquiao's focus in the lead-up to his most recent fight, a ruthless points victory over Mexican Antonio Margarito in November, but he showered the Filipino with praise yesterday.

"This is the best start we've ever had to a training camp," Roach told Reuters at his Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, California. "His focus has been great the whole way through.

"It's probably one of the least distractions we've ever had in training camp and he's doing great. He's concentrating on the fight, he's not taking this guy lightly at all and he's right where I want him to be."

Five months ago, Pacquiao totally outclassed Mexican Margarito when they fought at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas to land an eighth world title in an unprecedented eighth weight class.

However Roach had been concerned by the Filipino's lack of focus during their five-week training camp in the Philippines where Pacquiao has won a seat in his national congress.

"The focus came a little bit later than normal because of the politics in the Philippines but once we get to the Wild Card he is a machine again and he is just unbelievable the way he trains," Roach said.

"It's unbelievable that after eight world titles he trains as hard as he does. He trains harder now than he did his first day he was in the gym and I respect him a lot for that.

"He still has that hunger and it makes real happy and proud to be associated with a guy like Manny Pacquiao."

The Filipino southpaw has been installed as an odds-on favourite by Las Vegas bookmakers for his WBO welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand with Mosley, an American fighter who has yet to be knocked out.

Asked whether he felt he could become the first person to send Mosley crashing to the canvas, Pacquiao told Reuters: "I don't know. I'm not going to predict the fight but it's going to be a good fight.

"I have done a lot of things in this training camp. We have done our best in training so we just want to make sure that we can give a good fight to the people."

Mosley, like Pacquiao, is known for his aggressive and entertaining approach in the ring. He is also a three-division world champion and, according to Roach, is held in high esteem by the Filipino.

"One thing about Manny Pacquiao, he doesn't take anyone lightly," the bespectacled Roach said. "If he's going to fight me or you, he will train really hard for us too.

"Manny is one of those guys who doesn't want to disappoint his country. If he lost a fight, he would feel like he has let his whole country down and he doesn't want to do that.

"Shane has been there many times and he's going to rise to the occasion. He will fight the best fight of his life, I feel. We would be fools to underestimate Shane and we will not do that, I promise you."

Pacquiao, who has already established himself as one of the best offensive fighters of all time, has a career record of 52-3-2 with 38 knockouts. Mosley is 46-6-1 with 39 KOs. — Reuters

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Barcelona, Real overtake Yankees as top wage payers

Posted: 20 Apr 2011 04:56 PM PDT

LONDON, April 21 — Spanish football giants Barcelona and Real Madrid have overtaken baseball's New York Yankees as the highest-paid teams in global sport, according to the Global Sports Salaries Survey 2011.

The survey, to be published tomorrow, said the average annual first-team wage at Barcelona was £4.94 million (RM24.3 million), or £95,081 a week. All salaries are calculated in pounds sterling.

Real Madrid were second with their players earning an average £4.6 million a year while the average first-team salary at the Yankees was £4.2 million. NBA teams the LA Lakers and Orlando Magic were fourth and fifth respectively followed by Premier League Chelsea.

The report compares average first-team pay in 14 of the world's sports leagues, including the NBA, IPL, MLB, Premier League, NFL, NHL, Bundesliga, Serie A and La Liga.

The Premier League remains the richest football league in the world with Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal among the top 30 best paid teams in world sport.

"We've known for years that the biggest bucks have been in American basketball and baseball but the rise and rise in wages among the elite of European football continues, closing that gap," Nick Harris, the editor of sportingintelligence.com and author of the report, said in a statement yesterday.

"UEFA's Financial Fair Play regulations may act as a brake on this inflation in football pay in a few years' time but for now the big guns in Europe are still splashing out." — Reuters

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