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Manny Pacquiao’s schedule outside of the ring keeps him focused on fighting

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Steve Marcus

Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao arrives at the MGM Grand Tuesday, May 3, 2011. Pacquiao will defend a WBO welterweight title against Shane Mosley of Pomona, Calif. at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday.

Pacquiao Mosley Arrivals

Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao, center, waves to fans during fighter arrivals in the lobby of the MGM Grand Tuesday, May 3, 2011. Pacquiao will defend a WBO welterweight title against Shane Mosley of Pomona, Calif. at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday. Launch slideshow »

Boxers arrive at MGM

KSNV coverage of arrival of boxers Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosley at the MGM Grand, May 3, 2011.

One can easily make the argument that Manny Pacquiao’s boxing training has suffered because of his many responsibilities outside of the ring.

Pacquiao, who will take on Shane Mosley Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in defense of his WBO welterweight title, has been extremely busy in recent months marketing and promoting his ventures.

He has released a CD single, launched his own cologne scent, his own Nike shoe and apparel collection. That is in addition to his duties as a congressman in his native Philippines.

He’s so in demand that last week he was a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live, singing his song — a remake of the 1970s hit “Sometimes When We Touch” — and promoting this weekend’s sold out fight.

Just don’t tell Pacquiao, whom several consider boxing’s best pound-for-pound fighter, that he is overwhelmed or that his training has been sacrificed.

“That’s my life, to keep busy,” he said last week on a conference call. “I like to do a lot of things in my life. This is how I motivate myself in this upcoming fight. I’ve worked very hard for this fight.”

Plus, being on late-night television was great promotion for the fight — not that the immensely popular Pacquiao needs more publicity. Case in point was Tuesday, when thousands of fans crowed the lobby of the MGM Grand for the formal arrival of both fighters. Fans chanted Pacquiao's name, took videos and pictures with their mobile devices and desperately attempted to maneuver to the front of the pack to get a glimpse of the superstar.

Kimmel, a fight fan who is originally from Las Vegas, had previously had Pacquiao on his show.

“When (Oscar) De La Hoya was in his prime and we were doing the pay-per-view De La Hoya fights, prior to those fights, he always appeared on the Jay Leno Show,” said Bob Arum, founder and CEO of Top Rank, which promotes Pacquiao. “Manny has forged a close bond with Jimmy Kimmel, who is a lot younger and more hip than Leno. Manny has been treated real well by Jimmy Kimmel; there’s chemistry between them, and I think Manny looks forward to being on the Jimmy Kimmel show prior to his fights.”

In the ring, where Pacquiao has simply been untouchable in recent years, he is an eight-division champion who is riding a 13-match winning streak dating back to 2005.

Pacquiao, who is a -750 betting favorite (gamblers would win $1 for every $7.50 wagered), could add to his legacy against Mosley. The hard-hitting Mosley, who has won titles in three separate divisions and has an impressive 46-6-1 record, has never been knocked out in his career — a fact the Pacquiao camp is well aware of.

“Shane’s a tough guy, a very durable guy,” said Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer. “It would be incredible for Manny to be the first one to stop him and just prove to the world how much better he is than that guy that couldn’t stop him (Floyd Mayweather, Jr.).”

Still, Pacquiao isn’t eyeing a knockout and knows the fight could go the distance.

“We’re not focused for the knockout,” he said. “All we do is work hard, and if the knockout comes, it comes. We’ve prepared ourselves for fighting 12 rounds.”

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