Pacman loosens up playing chess
By Roy Luarca
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 23:33:00 04/30/2009

LAS VEGAS – LOOKING AT the bemoustached guy playing chess Wednesday night, it’s hard to believe that he’s just two days away from a title showdown with a dangerous opponent.

Manny Pacquiao, in white shirt and red jogging pants, was slouched in the sofa making moves, studying the position and even joking around.

Loose and relaxed, he looks ready to gun for Ricky Hatton’s International Boxing Organization light welterweight crown right away and not on Saturday (Sunday) as scheduled.

The feeling of calm is understandable since Pacquiao is in top shape, is thoroughly familiar with his opponent’s fighting style and is already inside the 140-pound limit.

“He weighs 139.5,” bared Environment Sec. Lito Atienza, who’s like a second father to Pacquiao, during a chance encounter with Manila-based sportswriters late afternoon.

With Pacquiao’s condition at 100 percent, Roach and conditioning expert Alex Ariza seem just bent on maintaining his form.

They’ve tapered off Pacquiao’s workouts, focusing more on enhancing his speed rather than increasing his power.

Pacquiao runs at the UNLV track oval in the morning, rests and then hies off to the IBA gym to sweat it out and apply the fight plan he and Roach designed for the 12-round duel with Hatton.

After the gym work, Pacquiao returns to his suite to rest and relax.

With no darts board around, Pacquiao has turned to chess which he plays quite well.


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