PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — HE’S not biased, but having felt the power of the world’s top pound-for-pound fighter, Shawn Porter has no doubt in mind that Manny Pacquiao will triumph over Miguel Cotto in their November 14 title fight in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“Definitely, he’s the best in the world today,” said the young, stocky, and promising junior middleweight from Akron, Ohio, who serves as the main sparmate of the boxing champion in his Baguio training camp.
“He’s gonna shock the world again,” he said of Pacquiao, who previously stunned the boxing community with remarkable victories over the likes of Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Lehlo Ledwaba and the legendary Oscar De La Hoya.
Unbeaten in 10 fights (with eight KOs), Porter had been dominant in his first five rounds of sparring with Pacquiao until Saturday when the Filipino ring icon, slowly getting back in fight shape, finally got the better end of his solid exchanges with the former U.S. Olympic team alternate in three punishing rounds.
The spirited effort certainly satisfied American trainer Freddie Roach, who rated Pacquiao’s present condition to be within the 40 percent range.
But he expects the 30-year old Filipino to get much, much better as the fight approaches,
Porter readily agreed.
“He’s boxing better each passing day,” said Porter, 21. “Is he (Pacquiao) strong? Yeah, definitely.”
Barring any last minute hitch, former World Boxing Council (WBC) lightweight champion Jose Luis Castillo is set to join Porter and Urbano Antillon as Pacquiao sparmates in his training camp at the Shape-Up gym inside the Cooyesan Hotel.
Castillo (60-9-1, with 52 KOs) fought memorable wars with the likes of the late Diego Corrales, Joel Casamayor, Ricky Hatton and Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Pacquiao is already priming himself up for the coming tough three weeks of training at the famed mountain hideaway, arriving in Baguio City near midnight of Sunday after spending the rest of the day in Manila distributing relief goods to victims of tropical storm Ondoy.
He was back at the gym Monday, spending 15 draining rounds of sparring at the mitts with Roach and at least half an hour of isometrics with conditioning coach Alex Ariza.
Sparring resumes today with Pacquiao expected to go six rounds.
Meanwhile, the boxing champion donated a check of P1 million to the Kapuso Foundation as part of his contribution to help all those affected by the recent calamity in the country.
“Bahagi po ito ng pag-tulong natin sa ating mga kababayan na nasalanta ng bagyo,” said Pacquiao, who went against the advise of Roach and traveled back to Manila Saturday at the height of super-typhoon Pepeng in Baguio in order to personally help distribute relief goods to all calamity victims.
“Nandito ako bilang morale support ko para sa kanila,” he added.