By Mark Vester
Former champion Jose Luis Castillo (60-9-2, 52 KOs) has accepted the invitation to become a sparring partner for Manny Pacquiao. He left on Wednesday to head out to Pacquiao's camp in Baguio City, Philippines. He will join other sparring partners Urbano Antillon and Shawn Porter in camp to help Pacquiao prepare for the November 14 bout with WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto. Castillo, 35, returns to the ring on November 28 in Mexico. He plans to fight at 143 and then look for a title shot at junior welterweight in 2010.
"When I received the invitation to have sparring sessions with Manny Pacquiao, I immediately. For me it is interesting to help Pacquiao. I was invited for my body punching, which Cotto does, and for my ability to apply constant pressure on my opponents," Castillo said.
He says Pacquiao-Cotto is a close fight and because the bout is being fought at 145-pounds, Cotto has some physical advantages.
"Pacquiao must protect himself against any punishment to the body. Cotto will be at his weight and he will be stronger, but Pacquiao always surprises and anything can happen that night," said Castillo.
Castillo hopes the work with Pacquiao will help him as he plans a big run next year.
"I have three straight wins in three months and I have been gradually losing weight. I have been getting better. My promoter Fernando Beltran has confirmed that I will fight on November 28 at 143 pounds and in January it will be at 140 pounds," Castillo said.
"I've been away for a while but I am back. Many in boxing had given me up for dead but in every fight I'm going to show that I have what it takes to challenge for a title."
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