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Sunday, April 12, 2009

New things in Pacquiao’s fight: Mom on hand, male artist to sing anthem

MANILA, Philippines – A couple of new things – some say a break in tradition – will happen when Manny Pacquiao steps into the ring to tangle with Ricky Hatton on May 2.

First, Pacquiao mother, Dionisia is coming to Las Vegas for the very first time since the pound for pound superstar first fought in the US. But Showbiz Central reported that the Pacquiao matriarch will only be watching the fight on TV at the MGM Grand.

“Hindi sa mismong harap ng ring kasi maaawa ako sa anak ko pag nasuntok siya ng kalaban niya, baka umakyat ako sa ring," she told Showbiz Central.

It will be the first time that Pacquiao’s mom will actually be on the US during his fight, using the opportunity to do some sightseeing as well. Previously, Aling Dionisia stays in their General Santos City mansion, spending time praying for her son’s success and safety.

Also new in the Pacquiao camp is the tapping of a first male performer to sing the national anthem in Martin Nievera. In the past, Pacquiao has assigned only female singers such as Kyla, Karylle, Geneva Cruz and Sarah Geronimo to do the honors, apparently giving him good luck.

Nievera was handpicked by Pacquiao, who dropped the invite when he met the Concert King during his birthday party last December.

“I’m very happy about it. I’ve always wanted to be the singer of the national anthem," Nievera said in a separate interview with Showbiz Central.

The veteran singer said he’s now preparing to give a rendition of a Lupang Hinirang that is “sung by a proud Filipino."

“Manny Pacquiao is gonna bring honor to the country and I’m gonna help make our country proud by singing the national anthem with all my heart and utmost pride," Nievera said.

Amid all these new sidebars, it will Pacquiao who will bask in the limelight when he guns for Hatton’s International Boxing Organization and Ring Magazine junior welterweight title in their “Battle of East and West" bout. –GMANews.TV


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