Manny Pacquiao's coming camp is starting to come together, and Ronnie Nathanielsz reports that Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. will head over to the Philippines to join the camp after all. Chavez is saying that a proposed fight with Miguel Cotto is indeed off for December 4, but that he will fight that month. Earlier today, it was reported that Top Rank might be working on a double bill with Cotto facing Kermit Cintron and Chavez taking on Pawel Wolak, both attractive fights.
Pacquiao's camp is looking as good as you would expect for the man regarded by many as the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world. He's preparing to take on the biggest opponent of his career when he faces Antonio Margarito at a max weight of 151 pounds on November 13.
Margarito stands 5'11" and carries a 73-inch reach, compared to Pacquiao at about 5'6" and a 67-inch reach. Trainer Freddie Roach, who is also the lead trainer for Chavez and Martirosyan, has lined up a good crew to get his main man ready:
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
Record: 41-0-1 (30 KO)
Record: 28-0 (17 KO)
Record: 11-1-2 (5 KO)
Record: 7-0 (5 KO)
Brick profiled the 20-year-old Tapia in April, and had this to say about the prospect:
"The first thing you'll notice about Tapia is that he absolutely looks the part. He walks with a swagger about him and has a glare of death when he enters the ring. He makes it immediately known that he's there to hurt you, sort of like James Kirkland. ... Tapia is able to kill the body, has a developing jab, and is a very effective combination puncher. In addition, while he has a little bit of slickness to his defense, he has a tendency to leave himself open when he's in the middle of an offensive onslaught. This makes for a very exciting style of fighter."
Roach has Tapia there as a guy who likes to fight very aggressively, Martirosyan and Chavez to replicate Margarito's dimensions, and Holloway is a pretty highly-regarded sparring partner who has worked with Pacquiao in the past. Tapia also served as Joshua Clottey's sparring partner for Clottey's 2009 fight with Miguel Cotto, and Holloway worked with Pacquiao to prepare him for Cotto a few months later. Given that Chavez's upcoming opponent Wolak is a fighter about the same size as Cotto, and that fighting Wolak seems to be to set up a later date with Cotto, that should work out in double, plus Tapia gets some great work in for a 20-year-old fighter.