Monday, April 6, 2009
MANILA, Philippines - Singer Martin Nievera has been picked to sing the national anthem during the much-awaited Manny Pacquiao-Ricky Hatton showdown on May 2 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Nievera will be the first-ever male singer to make the rendition in a Pacquiao fight in the United States.
Pacquiao, himself a recording artist, selected Nievera from a short list of candidates that reportedly included international singing sensations Lea Salonga and Charice Pempengco.
Interestingly, Nievera comes from the talent pool of ABS-CBN, the fierce network rival of GMA-7 which will telecast the Pacquiao-Hatton clash and where the Filipino boxing superstar has two shows.
Nievera follows in the footsteps of Karylle, Ciara Sotto, Kyla, Lani Misalucha, Bituin Escalante, Geneva Cruz, Sarah Geronimo and Jennifer Bautista.
Meanwhile, newly crowned World Boxing Council and World Boxing Organization light welterweight champion Timothy Bradley said he wants either Pacquiao or Hatton to be his next opponent.
The unbeaten American (24-0 with 11 knockouts) bucked two knockdowns to beat Kendall Holt by unanimous decision in Montreal, Canada, on Saturday.
“I want the big dogs,” Bradley told EastSideBoxing after the post-fight conference. “I want the winner of Hatton-Pacquiao, definitely. If I can’t get them, I want [Juan Manuel] Marquez. I want to be the star of the [light-welterweight] division.”
Though not a big puncher, the 25-year-old Bradley is sneaky and crafty. He also showed remarkable recuperative powers against Holt, who decked him with a powerful left hook in the first round and again in the 12th round.
In-between, however, Bradley was dominant to earn the judges’ nod.
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