Wednesday, April 29, 2009
LAS VEGAS — Pardon Bob Arum for playing the role of carnival barker to the hilt.
While anything he says will not make any more difference in hyping up this Saturday’s big fight between Manny Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton, the seventy-something Harvard-educated lawyer could not help but express his amazement over the media and public turnout during the Filipino’s arrival Tuesday afternoon at Mandalay Bay.
“These people just want a piece of him. They want to touch him and I’ve seen this before with (Muhammad) Ali years and years ago. This is the same type of reaction,” Arum told a group of Manila-based scribes.
“Manny has taken the place of the most popular fighter in the world. He has crossed over and he is now the face of boxing.”
Although Pacquiao had landed in Sin City the night before from Los Angeles, Arum wanted to play it even more so the papers and all the media get to cover him from all angles.
And that’s just what happened as soon as Pacquiao emerged from the customized bus that brought some members of his team, friends and followers here from Hollywood Monday night.
The media crush was so overwhelming that earlier plans to accommodate a few interviews at the entrance were aborted due to the mob scene.
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