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Pacquiao backs speed to conquer Cotto

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Manny Pacquiao believes his lightening hand speed will help him triumph over Miguel Cotto when they fight on Saturday
  • Puerto Rican Cotto defends his World Boxing Organization welterweight title at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas
  • Pacquiao is bidding to become a five-weight world champion having fought in weight ranges from 112 to 140 pounds

(CNN) -- Boxer Manny Pacquiao, rated the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world by many experts, aims to capture the World Boxing Organization welterweight title Saturday in Las Vegas.

It would be the fifth different weight class in which he holds a champion's belt if he defeats Miguel Cotto. Pacquiao believes his lightning hand speed will help him triumph over Cotto's raw power, he said at a press conference ahead of the title fight.

The 30-year-old Filipino former flyweight world title-holder takes on Puerto Rico champion Cotto at the MGM Grand Hotel.

Pacquiao's major titles have come in weights ranging from 112 to 140 pounds, but despite moving up to different classes he is confident he has kept his speed.

Video: Pacquaio focuses on 7th title
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That, he said, will give them the advantage against Cotto. "My speed is still there. If you have speed then you generate your own power.

We know that he is bigger than me and stronger than me but we studied his style for the past two months and we have our strategy," he said at the press conference on Wednesday.

"I feel stronger at this weight than I ever have. My punches are harder, my speed is intact. I keep getting warned about Cotto's body attack but Cotto should be worried about my body attack," he said.

Pacquiao, who's won 49 fights, lost 3 and drawn 2, knocked out Britain's Ricky Hatton at the MGM Grand in May, and defeated boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya there in December of last year.

But he's not taking Cotto lightly, he said. "Cotto is the champion for this fight and he is not as easy as... people think," the Filipino said. "He trained hard for this fight that is why we have to focus.

I am prepared for anything he has to offer. I have studied all his tapes, and I feel like I know him like I know myself." He he was "confident of success."

"It's going to be a great fight between two great fighters," he said. Cotto, 29, is half an inch taller than his rival and possibly slightly heavier.

Speed, power and being smart will lead to success. It's going to be a great fight between two great fighters.
--Manny Pacquiao

The official weigh-in is on Friday. Cotto is confident he can defend his title, he said. "I'm prepared for the speed of Manny. My hand speed is pretty equal to Manny's. But can Manny's power equal Miguel Cotto's on Saturday night?" he asked.

"I know what I'm capable of doing, and there is no doubt in my mind that I'm going to win this fight," he said.

Cotto also warned the Pacquiao camp not to be cocky. The Filipino's camp has been touting the possibility of mouth-watering bout with American great Floyd Mayweather Jr next year.

"I'm focused on this fight," Cotto said. "When I beat him this Saturday, he can think about whatever opponents he wants." Pacquiao said Wednesday he will not move any further up the weight divisions.

"No, no, no that is enough. It is amazing to even myself, and I can't believe I can fight at 147 pounds," said the boxer. "I started at 105 pounds, but right now my speed is still the same," he said.

"My goal in my boxing career is to always keep the speed even if I move up to high weight division because if you have speed you can create your power."