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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Marquez to fight Diaz with Pacquiao in mind

MANILA, Philippines – Juan Manuel Marquez has yet to throw a punch against Juan Diaz but he is already thinking of challenging Manny Pacquiao for a second rematch.

Marquez will face Mexican-American Juan Diaz for the vacant World Boxing Association (WBA) and World Boxing Organization (WBO) lightweight titles on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.

Marquez and Pacquiao’s first match on May 8, 2004 ended in a draw. Pacquiao then won via split decision in their March 15, 2008 rematch with his third round knockdown of Marquez weighing heavily on the judges.

Marquez believes he won that fight and wants another shot at Pacquiao to assure his fans that he deserves the status of being the only third boxer that brought down the Pacman.

But a Pacquiao-Marquez Part III proved to be elusive for the Mexican after his rival jumped to lightweight where the cat-and-mouse chase began.

Pacquiao challenged and defeated David Diaz for the World Boxing Council world lightweight title. He beat Diaz via a ninth round knockout.

Marquez jumped into Pacquiao’s weight division where he fought Joel Casamayor, whom he knocked out in the 11th round on September 13, 2009.

He once again called on Pacquiao but the reigning pound-for-pound king moved to welterweight to fight Oscar De La Hoya, who later became another casualty of the Filipino boxing icon.

Pacquiao’s demolition job against De La Hoya cemented his status as boxing’s pound-for-pound king with fighters lining up to get a chance to face him inside the ring. Ricky Hatton is the one lucky enough to seal a deal with Pacquiao in a May 2 fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Marquez, however, is still waiting at ringside adding that Pacquiao does not scare him and he hopes to face him again after his fight against Diaz. – GMANews.TV


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Mepranum sets sight on Pacquiao-Hatton undercard

MANILA, Philippines - Upcoming boxer Richie Mepranum may get to showcase his fighting skills in another Las Vegas bout headlined by pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao, who’s set to square off with British star Ricky Hatton on May 2.

But for this to happen, the reigning World Boxing Organization Oriental flyweight king must first get past a still-to-be-named Mexican opponent on March 22 in the undercard of Nonito Donaire’s International Boxing Federation (IBF) title defense against Raul Martinez.

According to Mepranum’s handlers, his promoter Top Rank has promised the 21-year-old prospect a second Vegas outing should he win his March 22 assignment.

Mepranum, who’s been inked to a three-year contract with Top Rank, has successfully debuted in the US last December in the undercard of Pacquiao’s megabuck fight with Oscar dela Hoya. In that gig, beat Texan Cesar Lopez over six rounds despite arriving in Las Vegas just three days before the fight.

Mepranum is currently training in Maasim, Sarangani, doing heavy roadwork and busying himself at the gym. GMANews.TV


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Pacquiao avoids talking politics, focuses on Hatton fight

MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao had a busy Thursday schedule, making sure that he finished all his commitments before leaving the country to begin the promo tour for his upcoming fight against British boxer Ricky Hatton.

From morning until late in the afternoon, Pacquiao shot his latest commercial for Nike then held a press conference at the New World Hotel in Makati where he pleaded for the holding of a clean and honest election in 2010.

Asked if he’s going to seek public office again, Pacquiao neither confirmed it nor denied.
“Pag-usapan muna natin ‘yung coming fight ko kasi mas malapit na ito kaysa sa election, e next year pa naman ito. Yung fight ko three months na lang (Let’s talk about my coming fight since it is much nearer than next year’s election. My fight is three months away)."

“Malapit na ‘yung laban ko kay Hatton kaya mas focus ako dito (My fight against Hatton is near so I am focused with it right now)," added Pacquiao, who was joined in the mini-press conference by election lawyer and close friend Atty. Romulo Macalintal.

Pacquiao ran for a seat in the House of Representatives in the first district of South Cotabato and General Santos City, but lost badly against incumbent Darlene Antonino-Custodio.

On Hatton, Pacquiao briefly said he respects the former world light welterweight and welterweight champion whom he added is a great fighter. “Si Hatton magaling na boksingero at malakas, kaya hindi natin puwedeng i-underestimate (You can not underestimate Hatton. He is a great and strong boxer)."

“Dalawang buwan akong magte-training (I would train for two months) and I think that is enough to prepare myself against him," Pacquiao added

Late Thursday night, a sendoff party for Pacquiao was held at the posh Shangrila Hotel in Makati. – GMANews.TV


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Pacquiao, Hatton promo tour begins in Hitman’s hometown

MANILA, Philippines – The first step in the blockbuster showdown between Manny Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton takes place over the weekend when the two popular boxers meet in Manchester, England to promote their May 2 title fight.

If his hectic schedule was followed according to plan, the 30-year old Filipino boxing idol and his entourage had already left for London early Friday morning via Cathay Pacific.

His entourage includes legal counsel Atty. Jing Gacal, close adviser Michael Konz and trainer/friend Buboy Fernandez. Team Pacquiao will have a brief stopover in Hong Kong, before proceeding to the England capital for the initial leg of his promotional tour with Hatton.

This will be Pacquiao’s first trip to the United Kingdom, a modern unitary state whose principal head, Queen Elizabeth I), was to whom the boxing champion named after his new-born daughter.

In London, Pacquiao will hook up with promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank as the two are expected to be together during the fan rally kicking off the promo tour in Manchester on Saturday (UK time).

The fan rally takes place in the Great Hall of the Trafford Centre.

On Monday, a press event highlights the two boxing icons’ stay in London, where Hatton commands a big following.

From there, the promo tour proceeds to the US where a similar trip will be held in New York, Las Vegas and San Francisco, where a large community of Filipino is based.

After the whirlwind promotional trip, hard work begins for the current world pound-for-pound fighter as he reports for the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles on March 4 where chief trainer and corner man Freddie Roach is waiting.

Roach has prepared a grueling eight-week training for Pacquiao with the next two months reserved for keeping him in shape against the hard-punching Hatton. – GMANews.TV


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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pacquiao relinquishes WBC lightweight crown

MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao’s desire to fight in the super lightweight division prompted him to relinquish his World Boxing Council (WBC) world lightweight crown.

Pacquiao, the reigning pound for pound king, wrote WBC president Jose Sulaiman to inform him of his decision. He won the WBC lightweight division title by way of a ninth round knockout against David Diaz in June last year.

Pacquiao said he consulted Team Pacquiao members before coming up with a decision adding that his last fight at 147 lbs. against Oscar De La Hoya on Dec. 6, 2008 made him choose to jump up one division.

“I have had discussion with my team as to the direction of my career since my fight at 147 lbs. After careful consideration and the in the advancement of my professional boxing career, I intend at this time to campaign in the super lightweight division with a fight against Ricky Hatton on May 2, 2009," Pacquiao said in his letter.

Pacquiao said his letter serves as a formal notice to WBC that he was voluntarily relinquishing his WBC lightweight championship belt to provide opportunities to other fighters in the division.

He then thanked the WBC for giving him the chance to represent them as one of its champions.

“I take great pride and honor in representing the WBC as its lightweight champion at the present time," he said.

Pacquiao added he owed his current success to the WBC.

"Your institution has opened the door for my success in boxing and I am grateful for the prestige your organization has given me over the years as one of its champions in many different weight categories," he said.

Pacquiao, though, is not closing the door of once again being a WBC champion.

"I look forward to the opportunity and distinction of representing your organization as a world champion in the future," he said.

The Filipino boxing icon will face reigning International Boxing Organization (IBO) light welterweight world champion Ricky Hatton of Great Britain on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao holds a 48-3-2 win-loss-draw record with 35 of his wins coming by way of knockout. He gained international recognition after fighting and winning in three weight divisions last year with his recent victory against De La Hoya catapulting him to superstardom. – GMANews.TV


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Writers predict winner of Pacquiao-Hatton fight

MANILA, Philippines – The promo tour has not even started. Both fighters have yet to start their respective training sessions. But this early online boxing writers are already predicting a winner for the scheduled May 2 fight between Manny Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton.

Some say the reigning pound-for-pound king and Filipino boxing icon would dance his way against Hatton. Others believe the British boxing superstar nicknamed The Hitman would floor Pacquiao.

The debate goes on for Pacqman and Hitman fanatics, who are eagerly waiting for both fighters to step in the ring and box their way around the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Some say Pacquiao, with the same speed that he showed against Oscar De La Hoya in their December 2008 bout, will demolish Hatton.

According to Leo Reyes, of, Hatton will be surprised when Pacquiao uses his speed and punching power to neutralize his aggressiveness early in the match and would finish off the British boxer in the later rounds.

Pete Parry also pointed out Pacquiao will use an array of lightning fast combination's while avoiding return fire from Hatton.

Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach needs to review the tapes of Hatton’s two previous big fights against Paulie Malignaggi and Floyd Mayweather Jr. in order to devise a new game plan. Mayweather is the lone boxer who put a blot on Hatton's nearly perfect record.

Gerry Balasta, of, predicted Pacquiao would be successful in beating Hatton to a pulp but a bloodied Hitman would put up a fight in the latter stages.

Balasta wrote Hatton would sneak in a huge blow on Pacquiao’s left kidney, which would force the Filipino boxing icon to kiss the mat in the 11th round.

According to Balasta, that hit to the left kidney is the same power punch that brought down boxing legends De La Hoya, Tommy Hearns, George Foreman and Mike Tyson against Bernard Hopkins, Marvin Hagler, Muhammad Ali and Lennox Lewis.

Jake Roberts, meanwhile, foresees a Hatton win by way of knockout in the later rounds. He said that Hatton’s strength and aggressive body shots will be the factor of his win against Pacquiao.

While others sided with Pacquiao or Hatton, Vivek Wallace of played it safe saying it will be up to both fighters on who would win on that day adding that he would feel sorry for the guy who missed the fight of the year and have to wait for the morning paper to read the story. – GMANews.TV


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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Hall of Fame honor adds to Pacquiao's motivation

MANILA, Philippines – Being enshrined to the Philippine Sportswriters Association’s (PSA) Hall of Fame will be an added motivation for Manny Pacquiao when he faces Ricky Hatton on May 2.

“This honor will motivate me to further increase my desire to make our country proud," Pacquiao said in Filipino.

The PSA will enshrine Pacquiao to the Hall of Fame during the PSA Annual Awards Night on February 20, Friday, at the Alegria Lounge of the Manila Pavilion Hotel, where other personalities will also be recognized for their contribution to Philippine sports.

This will be Pacquiao’s fifth PSA athlete of the year (AOY) award after earning the honor from 2002 to 2004 and in 2006. Going 3-0 in three different weight divisions last year was the reason why Pacquiao earned the award from the country’s oldest media organization.

He now join the likes of bowlers Paeng Nepomuceno and Bong Coo, basketball greats Caloy Loyzaga and Lauro Mumar, pro boxers Pancho Villa and Gabriel “Flash" Elorde, amateur boxer Mansueto “Onyok" Velasco, track stars Lydia De Vega and Mona Sulaiman, swimmer Teofilo Yldefonso, tennis player Felicisimo Ampon, Asia’s first Grandmaster Eugene Torre, and golfers Ben Arda and Celestino Tugot in the Hall of Fame.

Pacquiao won his first PSA athlete of the year award in 2002 as a rising 22-year old boxer. He thanked the PSA for the award.

He equaled Henry Armstrong’s 80-year old record of fighting and winning in three weight divisions. He defeated Juan Manuel Marquez and David Diaz to claim the super-featherweight and lightweight titles in a span of three months.

Pacquiao’s claim to international boxing superstardom happened on December 6 when he scored an eighth-round stoppage of the legendary Oscar De La Hoya in a 147-pound non-title fight.

Pacquiao said trainer and coach Freddie Roach plans to have another eight-week training to prepare for his fight against Hatton the same way when he trained against De La Hoya.

He is currently busy shooting scenes for the upcoming TV series Totoy Bato with Robin Padilla and is expected to leave for the US by the end of the month to start promoting and training for the May 2 bout.

Pacquiao will face British boxing superstar Hatton on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas in a fight that nearly got cancelled because of disagreements in the revenue split. – GMANews.TV


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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Politics will be Pacquiao’s next big fight after 2009

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao is set to retire in 2009 to prepare for taking on the bigger challenge of being a public servant.

Pacquiao renewed his desire to serve the people, saying he would be ready to hang up his gloves after fighting twice this year and prepare for the 2010 national elections. He is reportedly seeking a congressional seat to represent General Santos City.

He said that he was just following what his heart desires.

"My heart wants to help others. That is why I am offering myself to serve them," Pacquiao said.

Pacquiao, who will fight British boxer Ricky Hatton on May 2, ran in the 2007 elections but lost to incumbent South Cotabato Rep. Darlene Antonino-Custodio.

His plan of running once again in 2010 drew mixed reactions from his Filipino boxing fans.

“Even in boxing a lot of people are against me," Pacquiao said. "When I fought De La Hoya they are also against it. Every time I fight and in my victories there are people who oppose me. I want to help and serve the people. I had already achieved my dream of becoming a world champion despite all the hardships I faced."

Pacquiao is a multi-titled boxer who won in various weight divisions. He gained the respect of the international boxing world when he fought and won three times last year, even beating the legendary Oscar De La Hoya in a nontitle bout.

Pacquiao also tried his luck in acting, doing a movie in 2005 and 2008, and appearing in cameo roles in various television shows. He also recorded an album and is one of country’s most sought-after product endorsers.

He has opened several businesses in General Santos City and is finishing a degree in usiness management. Cebu’s Southwestern University will confer on him a Doctor in Human Kinetics (honoris causa) on Feb. 18. – GMANews.TV


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Out of shape Barrera wants another shot at Pacquiao

MANILA, Philippines – Marco Antonio Barrera wants to challenge Manny Pacquiao for a third time with fellow Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez as his next fight.

Barrera made the call after a third-round win over Cuban Freudis Rojas on Sunday in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Barrera will face reigning lightweight champion Amir Khan on March 14 but is already planning to once again fight Pacquiao and Marquez for his next two bouts.

Barrera said he wants to be the first Mexican boxer to win championships in four different weight classes after already winning titles in the super bantamweight, featherweight and lightweight divisions.

Barrera, however, was out of shape when he fought Rojas with fat visible in his stomach. Even the fight was not a good thing to watch with Rojas running away from Barrera for most of the three-rounds.

Barrera also missed a lot of punches and was very slow failing to land the heavy blows. He was even warned by the referee after throwing a punch at Rojas at the end of the second round.

The match started to pick up in the third round where Barrera began to land a few combinations on Rojas’ face. The Cuban then pushed Barrera against the ropes where he head butted the Mexican.

The head butt left a nasty gash on Barrera and cost Rojas the match. – GMANews.TV


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Giants to hold ‘Pacquiao Day’ in April

MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao continues his rise to superstardom with no less than a Major League Baseball (MLB) team honoring him with a special celebration.

Pacquiao will be the guest of honor in San Francisco when the Giants host a “Manny Pacquiao Day" on April 21, according to sports website

Pacquiao will throw out the opening pitch when the Giants, who play in the National League, meet the San Diego Padres in an MLB regular season game.

Aside from throwing the first pitch, fans who will watch the game will be given Pacquiao bobblehad dolls.

The Giants’ Pacquiao Day celebration comes 11 days before the Filipino boxing icon’s May 2 fight with British boxer Ricky Hatton at the MGM Grand Hotel Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

The Pacquiao-Hatton match is expected to be boxing’s biggest draw this year that features two of the sports’ hard-nosed brawlers.

Pacquiao’s AT&T Park visit is part of Bob Arum’s promotional tour in the Bay Area, where the Top Rank Inc. boss hopes to get a larger audience that will subscribe to the pay-per-view match.

Sugar Ray Leonard, Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Kelly Pavlik and the controversial Antonio Margarito were the other boxers who were honored at a baseball game. – GMANews.TV


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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

No contest: PSA elevates Pacquiao to Hall of Fame

MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao will be elevated to the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Hall of Fame after earning his fifth Athlete of the Year (AOY) award.

The PSA, the country’s oldest media organization, chose Pacquiao as 2008’s top athlete after winning and fighting thrice in different weight classes last year.

Victories against Juan Manuel Marquez, David Diaz, and the legendary Oscar De La Hoya last year cemented Pacquiao’s status as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

The four-time world champion will now join in the PSA Hall of Fame the likes of bowlers Paeng Nepomuceno and Bong Coo, basketball greats Caloy Loyzaga and Lauro Mumar, pro boxers Pancho Villa and Gabriel "Flash" Elorde, amateur boxer Mansueto “Onyok" Velasco, track stars Lydia De Vega and Mona Sulaiman, swimmer Teofilo Yldefonso, tennis player Felicisimo Ampon, Asia’s first Grandmaster Eugene Torre, and golfers Ben Arda and Celestino Tugot.

Pacquiao will receive the honor during the PSA Annual Awards Night on Feb. 20, Friday, at the Alegria Lounge of the Manila Pavilion Hotel, where other personalities will also be recognized for their contribution to Philippine sports.

This will be Pacquiao’s fifth PSA AOY award after earning the honor from 2002 to 2004 and in 2006.

"Manny Pacquiao has all the mark of a great athlete that while he’s still active fighting, he already deserves to be a Hall of Famer," said PSA president and Daily Tribune sports editor Aldrin Cardona.

Women’s World Cup champions Jennifer Rosales and Dorothy Delasin, young chess sensation Wesley So, wushu artist Willy Wang, boxer Nonito Donaire, and golfers Angelo Que and Dottie Ardina were the other athletes considered for the AOY honor. – GMANews.TV


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Comments won’t affect Pacquiao, to focus on training for Hatton fight

MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao doesn’t want to get distracted on the comments made by former pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Ricky Hatton. Instead, he trains hard and lets his fist do the talking inside the ring.

Mayweather, who also predicted De La Hoya will beat Pacquiao last year, said that the Filipino boxing icon has no chance of winning against Hatton, the same opponent he beat in 2007 before hanging up his gloves.

Hatton, in a press conference last week, also said that he is convinced he can beat Pacquiao in their scheduled 12-round bout on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao just brushed aside their comments.

“I don’t want to respond on their comments. They just wanted me to get mad and react on what they say," said Pacquiao in Filipino. “You can see who the better boxer inside the ring is. You just don’t talk about it but rather show it."

Pacquiao said he is confident on his boxing skills and believes that prayer and trust in God also help him win matches. “I won’t promise anything but I will do my best when I fight Hatton."

He said that by the middle of February he would start jogging and lifting weights as a preparation for another eight weeks of training at Freddie Roach’s Wildcard Gym in Los Angeles.

Pacquiao said he wanted the same training when he fought De La Hoya last year. –


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