Tag archive for "Manny Pacquiao"




No Comments 13 February 2015

BY LEANDRO MILAN – Manny Pacquiao, full-time professional boxer and part-time everything else (entertainer, Bible preacher, politician and basketball coach) has a number of rivals – among them Floyd Mayweather Jr. – for the distinct title “Best Pound-for-Pound Boxer.” Until the proposed mega fight with the unbeaten American boxer materializes, the Filipino boxing idol will have to settle for just being one of the best inside the ring.

But Manny doesn’t have to fret for he has just been bestowed a new title all his own, albeit it’s for something he did – or more accurately, he did not do – outside the ring. Our sporting hero, who goes by the official government designation of Honorable Emmanuel Pacquiao, Congressman of Sarangani Province, has just been crowned “Top Absentee Member of the House of Representatives in 2014.”

According to House records, the Gentleman from Sarangani showed up for work at the Lower House only four days last year. Coming in poor second is Negros Occidental Congressman Jules Ledesma (better known as the husband of actress Assunta de Rossi) who was marked “present” seven times in 2014. Unlike in regular work or school, the absentee solons did not get any pay cut or even a reprimand. There is no law or House rule that compels members to attend sessions and committee hearings, so Congress leadership is helpless in enforcing attendance.

A boring day in Congress

A boring day in Congress

Last December former Senator Rene Saguisag, scandalized by the congressman’s wanton disregard for House rules and proper conduct, suggested that the chamber “should consider suspending Pacquiao up to the end of his term as he treats House work as a hobby or sideline.” Saguisag, who has a reputation for being a stickler for ethical conduct, said being a congressman or senator means serious work and should not be taken lightly. He added that if Pacquiao is serious about running for the Senate in 2016 and even the presidency, then he should retire immediately and do his homework.

Tell that to the Marines, scoffs my neighborhood barber. Our politicians, he says, do not take kindly to the counsel of ordinary mortals. He cites the arrogant retort of Senator Gregorio Honasan to singer Jim Paredes, who was critical of the ex-soldier: “Mag senador ka muna!”

Congressman Manny downplays his habitual absenteeism from the House. He maintains that members of Congress do not have to attend sessions and committee hearings on a regular basis in order to discharge their duties as lawmakers. To critics and doubters, Congressman Manny presents himself as Exhibit A.

“I don’t want to boast what I have done in my district, pero kung pakitaan ng accomplishment by the term sa distrito . . . Importante kasi ‘yung tao matulungan mo, at hindi ‘yung lagi kang naka-upo doon sa Kongreso,” he told reporters last Jan. 19, the day Congress resumed session after the Christmas break, an opportune to bring up the issue of his poor attendance in the House.

He went on to share some nuggets of wisdom on good governance: “Puro batas ‘yung pina-file mo, wala namang pinakinabangan ang batas. Pero kailangan, you file the bill, ‘yung trabaho kailangan tulungan mo ang mga tao. Tapos ang term mo, tapos wala kang ginagawa sa mga tao.”

The starstruck reporters were either too timid or too courteous to remind their boxing idol that membership in Congress requires attendance in sessions and committee hearings because it is a deliberative body where national issues are discussed and policies formulated. Or maybe the reporters thought it was not the right venue to grill the congressman about lawmaking and ethics in public service. At that time they were in New York City where the congressman was promoting Manny, a documentary about him by Fil-American filmmaker Ryan Moore.

Manny and wife Jinky with Prince Harry in London

Manny and wife Jinky with Prince Harry in London

Given Congressman Manny’s education and the company he keeps, one should be more understanding of his distorted notion of our government structure and the functions and duties of officials in the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government. His advisers and handlers cannot be expected to instantly mold him from showman to statesman; it’s like teaching old dogs new tricks.

And lest we forget, Congressman Manny remains, first and foremost, a prizefighter. It was his brawn, not his brains, that rewarded him fame and fortune. His other preoccupation – including being congressman – is just icing on the cake. He does not need the position or title, thank you; it’s even a financial burden if you ask him.

That explains why he is unperturbed and unrepentant about his poor attendance in Congress.

Hindi naman ako mahihiya diyan. Yes, marami akong absent because marami akong commitments at sa fights. Two fights a year, at sa training pa lang.”

Pacquiao had two fights in 2014 – against Timothy Bradley on April 12 and Chris Algieri on Nov. 22. Each of those fights required at least three months of training here and abroad.

As for his other commitments outside boxing, there’s enough distraction in his calendar to keep him away from Congress the whole year. Consider his itinerary last January: From New York, he flew to Hollywood on Jan. 22 to attend the premiere of Manny. On Jan. 22 he and wife Jinkee had dinner with Prince Harry in London. On Jan. 25 he sat as one of the five judges in the Miss Universe pageant in Florida. In between sips of champagne and poses for the paparazzi, he had numerous meetings with boxing promoter Bob Arum for updates on the proposed mega fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr.

He is a much-sought-after celebrity and endorser at home and abroad, enabling him to boost his image and pocketbook. The world is his stage. He did not seek the congressional post in some tiny backward province in Mindanao; it was the position that sought him. Besides, he says, he has been spending his own money to help his constituents.

Sa akin, sa distrito ko, ‘pag election, ‘pag may kalaban ako, huwag niyo na akong iboto para hindi sumakit ang ulo ko . . . ‘Yun, mas happy ako kung hindi nila ako iboboto, ‘yung para hindi ako gagastos. Wala naman akong hinahangad na magnakaw. Hindi ako katulad na magnanakaw. May takot ako sa Panginoon.”

If Congressman Manny sounded proud and confident about his record and accomplishment in the House despite being present only four days the whole of last year, is it because he knows fully well the workings in the chamber and how his colleagues are misbehaving badly in and out of the session hall?

To his critics, he has this to say: Better absent than corrupt!




No Comments 24 December 2014

By Tim Dahlberg — LAS VEGAS (AP) — Floyd Mayweather Jr. built a career – and made a fortune – by using deception to confuse and outwit his opponents.

Playing the same game outside the ring has also paid off for Money May. Mayweather has, for the most part, been able to fight who he wants, where he wants and when he wants. He sells enough pay-per-views that he has been able to avoid a fight with Manny Pacquiao that should have taken place five years ago.

But the game has gotten old, even if Mayweather’s many yes men haven’t had the courage to let him know. His latest attempt to twist the story line about a possible fight next year with Pacquiao was so dated and absurd that even the sycophants in his sizeable entourage had to be rolling their eyes.

The wizard of defense has finally been boxed into a corner. The charade is over, whether Mayweather realizes it or not.

He must fight Pacquiao next, if his career is to have any legitimacy. And he must to do it on terms that reflect he won’t be the only superstar in the ring.

Mayweather didn’t seem to grasp that last Dec. 13 when he broke his silence and tried to make it seem as if he were challenging Pacquiao to a fight, not the other way around. In an “’interview”’ with the Showtime network that employs him, Mayweather not only declared he wanted Pacquiao, but set a May 2 date for the fight.

Lest long suffering boxing fans get too excited, though, the conditions quickly followed. Mayweather not only wants to pick the date but to set the purse to his liking and have Showtime be the broadcaster. He regurgitated old arguments about blood testing that didn’t make sense five years ago when he first started spouting them and make absolutely no sense now.

Luckily, the interview ringside in San Antonio didn’t last long. If it had, Mayweather might have demanded Pacquiao be allowed to train only one week for the fight, have his blood taken in the locker room just before he goes into the ring and not be able to use his right hand for the first eight rounds.

That may be laughable. But so, too, is this:

“’Manny Pacquiao, (promoter) Bob Arum, you guys have been ducking us for years,’” Mayweather said. ‘”We’re tired of you guys fooling the public, fooling the critics. Before we tried to make the fight happen and you guys didn’t want to take random blood and urine testing. So that’s why the fight didn’t happen. Then I offered you $40 million and you didn’t want to make the fight happen. Then you lost twice and now you’re coming back begging for the same money. That’s not going to happen.’”

Maybe Mayweather doesn’t read the papers. If he had, he would know Pacquiao had no problem with unannounced blood tests for his fight with Chris Algieri last November. He would know that Pacquiao and Arum would almost surely accept a smaller purse as long as the money split wasn’t lopsided.

Now is the time for Mayweather to step up.

Now is the time for Mayweather to step up.

He would know that the free ride is over for the most part and Showtime won’t keep paying him $20 million to $30 million to fight the Marcos Maidanas of the world.

The fact of the matter is pay-per-view buys are slowing for both Pacquiao and Mayweather. Pacquiao’s fight last November with Algieri in Macau wasn’t a big seller, and both of Mayweather’s fights last year with Maidana underperformed. Both HBO and Showtime are charging premium rates, but not showing premium fights.

Put Mayweather and Pacquiao in the ring together and that would change. Though both fighters have slowed some in recent years, the matchup is still one fans desperately want and are willing to pay for. It would be the richest fight in history, and it wouldn’t be close.

Frankly, it’s hard to see why Mayweather hasn’t already signed on the dotted line. He would easily make $100 million, maybe more. Assuming he wins – and Vegas oddsmakers have already put up lines favoring him by as much as 3-1 – he would cement his legacy and bolster his claim to being one of the great fighters of all time.

But if the fight has an expiration date, so do the negotiations. For a fight as big as this, they would likely need to be wrapped up by the end of the year to allow time for the promotion to begin.

It’s taken five years to even get Mayweather to say he wants the fight.

Now it’s time for him to step up and show he really means it.

(Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press.)





No Comments 24 April 2014

‘We love our champ if he sticks to what he does best and we condemn him when he dabbles in fields outside his core competence. Focus on sports. Stay away from politics.’ READ FULL STORY




No Comments 25 November 2013

We’ll never again see the seemingly unstoppable whirlwind Manny Pacquiao of 2007 to 2011. That was the Manny Pacquiao who zoomed up the scales to win five of his world titles in a record eight weight classes. But this Pacquiao — the 34-year-old version coming off a gargantuan one-punch, sixth-round, face-first, go-to-sleep knockout against his great rival Juan Manuel Marquez in their fourth encounter a year ago — is still pretty damn good. READ FULL STORY




No Comments 23 November 2013

After eight frustrating years, four controversial fights, 42 contentiously scored rounds, with over 500 punches landed from more than 1,800 thrown, after two grueling hours of opportunity under the spotlight, on Dec. 8, 2012, Juan Manuel Marquez finally landed the punch of a lifetime against Manny Pacquiao. READ FULL STORY




No Comments 28 July 2013

Macau — Philippine boxing great Manny Pacquiao is harboring thoughts of running for president in his beloved homeland when he finally hangs up his gloves, he revealed to Agence France-Presse in an exclusive interview.

Giving his strongest hint yet that he will push to the top of the political tree when he finally retires from the ring, the “Pacman” — a hero and congressman in his home country — admitted he had considered the presidency of the 95 million-strong nation.

When pressed on whether he had thought about shooting for the top job, the softly-spoken 34-year-old replied “Yes”.

Drawing parallels between his pugilism and politics careers, the former world champion in eight weight divisions said: “When I started boxing, of course I was planning… and thinking about getting to become a champion. So when I entered politics it’s the same thing.

“But, you know, it’s far away,” he said, adding: “It’s God’s will.”

Before that, however, Pacquiao whose record stands at 54 wins, five losses and two draws, must concentrate on his latest bout — a post breakfast-time tear-up with US fighter Brandon Rios, kicking off at the Venetian resort-hotel in Macau at 10:00 a.m. on November 24.

The unconventional start time is for the benefit of the lucrative US pay-per-view audience, who will be settling down to watch the fight mid-evening on Saturday, as top US promoter Bob Arum attempts to elbow his way into the China market.

And viewers will not be oblivious to the fact that it is probably make or break time for Pacquiao’s boxing career.

Despite his last fight ending in a disastrous knockout, when Juan Manuel Marquez caught him with a huge right hand that saw the Filipino crumple to the canvas — his second successive defeat — Pacquiao refuses to entertain the notion that he will lose a third straight bout, or retire.

He said he was “100 percent” sure he would beat Rios (31-1-1), giving him one more chance to regain his credibility — and potentially another shot at a world title.

“He’s OK but I can say he’s a greasy fighter and he loves to fight inside, he loves to fight toe-to-toe,” he said in an interview on July 27as he kicked off a promotional tour for the Rios battle.

“This is going to be a good fight — more action in the ring. Hopefully he won’t run away.”

Pacquiao insists he is as fit as ever, will focus on not leaving himself open to Marquez-style punishment, and has ignored calls from friends, family and media commentators, fearful for his health, to call it a day.

Once regarded as the world’s best pound-for-pound fighter, he dismisses the possibility of defeat at the hands of the much younger — and possibly hungrier — US opponent.

“There’s a little bit of pressure for this fight but I believe in myself that I can still fight and improve,” he said. “I still can knock somebody out in the ring.

“I never think negative. I only think positive,” Pacquiao added, conceding that his nearest and dearest were desperate for him to bow out of the fight game.

“Especially my mother,” he admitted. “My mother doesn’t want me to fight any more, she doesn’t like it,” he told AFP. “She wants me to focus on serving people.”

His trainer too, the legendary Freddie Roach, has categorically stated that if he loses to Rios it will be the last time he sets foot in the ring.

“If he loses, I will tell him to retire,” he was reported as telling ESPN.

Pacquiao’s preparation for the fight will begin in the Philippines in August, with “light training for conditioning” seeing him run in the morning and hit his gym in the afternoon, before he steps up the work rate to put himself through weeks of gruelling workouts.

Acknowledging he is no longer a young fighter — but confident he will be in as good a shape as ever — he said: “Of course, my mind is still there but I have to adjust a little bit of something in my body because I’m 34 years old. It’s different than if you compare it to when I was 25 years old.

“I need to focus this training camp to maintain the speed, specifically the footwork.”

And the one question that has for years dogged Pacquiao — whether a dream clash with undefeated five-division world champion Floyd Mayweather will ever happen?

“I’ve stopped thinking about him because I don’t think he will fight me. I’ve been waiting four years already,” he said. (Agence France-Presse)





No Comments 01 November 2011

Boxer, Godfather, saint, politician … Is there anything in the world that Manny can’t do? READ FULL STORY in Newsweek magazine’s cover story of November 7, 2011, Philippine and Latin American editions.




No Comments 12 May 2011

In recent years, one of the most interesting phenomena ever to emerge from Philippine media is the Manny Pacquiao phenomenon. There has never been anything quite like it before. READ FULL STORY




No Comments 17 February 2011

Washington — Late Monday afternoon (Feb. 14), Manny Pacquiao and company, lots and lots of company, boarded Acela Express No. 2165 in the belly of Pennsylvania Station. Pacquiao entered his private car (cost: $10,000) flanked by two documentary film crews, promoters, publicists, advisers, his chief of staff and his wife, Jinkee. READ FULL STORY (Photo: Manny Pacquiao with US Senate Leader Harry Reid on Capitol Hill.)




No Comments 14 November 2010

By Michael Rosenthal

Arlington, Texas – We’re running out of words.

Manny Pacquiao fought a three-time world titleholder who outweighed him by 17 pounds when they entered the ring. He supposedly had a number of distractions while training in the Philippines. He was sluggish in sparring. Even some of those close to him were concerned going into this fight.

The result? A beating the likes we’ve rarely seen at this level of boxing, one that gave Pacquiao a major title in a mind-boggling eighth weight class – almost half of the 17 – and added to a legend that just continues to grow.

The scores indicate how one-sided it was before 41,734 on Nov. 13 at Cowboys Stadium: 120-108 (a shutout), 118-110 and 119-109. The RingTV.com had it 120-107. The CompuBox punch stats were staggering: Pacquiao landed 474 punches (out of 1,069 thrown), No. 8 all-time for a title fight. And get this: He landed 411 of 713 power shots, 58 percent.

You had to see it to fully understand it, though.

Pacquiao landed two-, three-, four-punch combinations seemingly at will and avoided taking blows unless he purposely stepped into the path of danger, a pattern that left Margarito’s face a grotesque mess. His skin was bright red, his eyes were swollen shut and blood dripped from a deep cut under his right eye.

Exhilarating and gruesome

It was exhilarating and gruesome at the same time.

It was exhilarating because of the explosiveness and efficiency of Pacquiao’s work. I was in absolute awe at what I saw, a once-in-a-lifetime athlete whose ability is a true gift to boxing fans.

It was gruesome because a brave man was being beaten to a pulp by the fast hands of a killer. Even those disgusted with Margarito’s role in the hand-wrap scandal had to feel sorry for him during the last few rounds of the fight, which should’ve been stopped to prevent further suffering.

To be clear, this wasn’t a great fight. It was a slaughter, which was predictable given the wide disparity in their talent. Margarito’s size advantage was meaningful only because it likely played a role in his survival.

Pacquiao could’ve won every second of every round by pecking away at Margarito from the outside and avoiding his rushes by using his quick feet, as he did numerous times when the Mexican tried to trap him in a corner or against ropes.

Make people happy

That’s not Pacquiao, though. He purposely entered dangerous situations – fighting Margarito inside, laying on the ropes — because, as he said, “I wanted to make people happy.” As a result, he added some drama to the fight by taking a few unnecessary punches.

“It was a hard fight,” said Pacquiao, being charitable. “I did my best to win. I can’t believe I beat a guy that big and that strong.”

That said, Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 knockouts) was never, ever in trouble. He said afterward that he knew in the second round that this was his fight but I suspect that realization probably came before they signed the contracts several months ago.

The Filipino marvel knew exactly what he was getting into. Still, he had to get the job done against a relative giant. Margarito weighed 165 pounds , Pacquiao 148, which in effect meant they were three weight classes apart.

And Pacquiao made it an absolute rout.

“I don’t think we lost a round,” said Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach. “I wish we would’ve knocked him out. He’s a very tough guy. I’m surprised how tough. He has the worst corner. His corner ruined his career by not stopping the fight.”

Uncommon courage

Margarito (38-7, 27 KOs) did show uncommon courage, which isn’t surprising given his track record of such efforts.

The proud Mexican would never have quit. And referee Laurence Cole probably would never have stopped it because Margarito continued to defend himself (or at least try) and throw punches.

It was up to Robert Garcia, Margarito’s trainer. He reportedly asked his fighter whether he wanted to continue late in the fight – and was told emphatically, “yes” – but Garcia probably should’ve stepped in nevertheless.

In the end, it was Pacquiao who saved his opponent from undue punishment. He went into cruise control the last few rounds because he didn’t want to inflict unnecessary punishment, which might’ve cost him a knockout.

“I told the ref, ‘Look at his eyes, look at his cuts,’” Pacquiao said. “I didn’t want to hurt him anymore.”

So in the end he turned in one of the most-dominating performances in recent years and then capped it off with a heart-warming act of kindness.

That’s Manny Pacquiao. One of a kind.

(Michael Rosenthal is an associate editor of The Ring magazine.)


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