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SPORTS: World Boxing Council (WBC)


By Alex P. Vidal

LOS ANGELES, California – The World Boxing Council (WBC) has offered its “modest support to the great people of this extraordinary boxing country (Philippines)”, which was recently slammed by deadly typhoon “Ketsana” that killed hundreds of people and rendered thousands of families homeless, by selling commemorative key-rings of the first WBC Diamond Belt fight ever between Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Angel Cotto on Nov. 14 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The project dubbed “WBC Asia Relief fund – Philippine Disaster”, offers circle keyring model
double face key-ring: one face with Pacquiao, the back face with Cotto 1 ¾ inches diameter, glove model big (3 inches tall by 2 ¼ wide) shiny finish and old metal matt finish for the following prices: 5 assorted key-rings = $50 US plus shipping; 10 assorted key-rings = $95 US plus shipping; 15 assorted key-rings = $140 US plus shipping; 20 assorted key-ring = $185 US plus shipping; and 50 assorted key-rings = $450 US plus shipping.


According to the WBC News released from the office of president Jose Sulaiman Chagnon in Mexico City dated October 12, 2009, “all the money raised will be sent for charity to the Philippines through the Games and Amusement Board chaired by WBC vice president Eric Buhain.
“The WBC joins the world helping force just like we did in 2005 in the Asian Tsunami disaster. Extra donations will be really appreciated by our Philippine brothers,” said the WBC News.
Associated Press has reported that authorities sent more than 200 coffins recently to the typhoon-battered northern Philippines for the grim task of burying the storm’s victims, including a family of eight whose house was buried under a torrent of mud.


The nationwide death toll from landslides and flooding reportedly stood at more than 600 since back-to-back storms started pounding the northern Philippines on Sept. 26. Hundreds of thousands are still displaced, and the damage from the worst flooding in 40 years has run into hundreds of millions of dollars.
The death toll was so high that some areas ran out of coffins. More than 200 wooden caskets assembled in neighboring provinces were expected in Baguio, where more funerals were planned, said regional disaster-relief director Olive Luces.
Baguio city, in the heart of the Cordillera mountain range where at least 277 people died, organized a burial for a family of eight, including six children, whose house along Marcos Highway was pinned down by other houses that tumbled down a mountainside late last week.


Posted by on October 14, 2009 in 1




By Alex P. Vidal

LOS ANGELES, California – Did somebody commit a mea culpa in prematurely disclosing that International Boxing Organization (IBO) light welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao would soon relinquish the title after fighting Miguel Angel Cotto on November 14 to duke it out with Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a rich transaction in March 2010?
This question surfaced in the boxing circle here after Top Rank chief Bob Arum recently announced the 30-year-old Pacquiao (49-3-2, 37 KO’s) “may no longer pursue Mayweather” but will instead square off with Shane Mosley in his next fight before the May elections in the Philippines if he will dispose of Cotto (34-1, 27 KO’s) in a 12-round fracas at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“It appears the first round of negotiation with Team Mayweather bogged down due to disagreement in sharing of purse,” said sources from La Brea on 3rd St. here who refused to be named because they were not authorized to say something about the deal which has been going on even before Mayweather silenced Juan Manuel Marquez in 12 rounds last September 19 in Las Vegas.
Sources said both Pacquiao and Mayweather would have bankrolled at least $20 million (about 940 million in Philippine money) each but Team Mayweather reportedly “wanted the bigger slice of the pie” after the unbeaten black fighter dislodged Marquez and his reputation has been deodorized once again after a 21-month hiatus.


The proposed date of the multi-million duel would have been March 13, 2010 but sources said the Mayweather camp wanted to up the ante for the 34-year-old hard-hitting American fighter after reports spread first week of October that “Mayweather has agreed to face Pacquiao” regardless of the result of his fight against the 28-year-old Cotto.
The Mayweather camp thought the Pacquiao camp desperately wanted the deal sealed soon as it has already been publicized and the date of the supposed fight reported in media; hence, it could use the opportunity to make astronomical demands, it was learned.
“How could Mayweather have agreed to fight Pacquiao next when he is now enjoying with his family after a bruising clash with Marquez and has never sat down with any representative of Pacquiao to seriously discuss the matter?” sources quoted a member of Mayweather’s training team as reportedly saying.
They said, “It is not Mayweather who is hankering for a Pacquiao fight because he is the one who is undefeated and has nothing to prove anymore in as far as his talent an skills are concerned.”
Arum has announced that he would turn his back from the negotiation table if Mayweather, nicknamed “Money”, will insist on a 60-40 sharing.
And, sources said, “it appears Arum has packed up his portfolio as he refused to succumb to Mayweather’s demand as he did not want to compromise the status of the prized Filipino icon who is reputed as the best boxer in the world pound-for-pound.”
Arum described Mayweather’s demand as “outrageous.” He did not elaborate.
Arum, 77, made a brief visit at Pacquiao’s training camp in Baguio City, Philippines last week of September where the part-time politician and richest Filipino professional athlete is staying together with trainer Freddie Roach and conditioning tactician Alex Ariza, among other training personnel.


Meanwhile, if Pacquiao will eliminate Cotto in the numbers game, he could end up facing Mosley (46-5, 39 KO’s) in a WBO, WBA welterweight unification duel tentatively next year, it was reported.
Although he is also included in the elite list as Mayweather’s possible next opponent, Mosley has a score to settle with Cotto who upset him and grabbed his WBA welterweight crown on Nov. 10, 2007 at the Madison Square Garden in New York before Mosley masterfully broke Antonio Margarito (37-6, 27 KO’s) into pieces with a 9th round stoppage for the WBA super welterweight belt on January 24, 2009 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Margarito was the first man to stop Cotto in the 11th round in a bloody encounter on July 26, 2008 in a match that transformed the MGM Grand into a bullfight arena with Puerto Rican and Mexican fans loudly jeering and yelling at each other like their countries are at war.
A Cotto-Mosley rematch is reportedly not a far-fetched possibility next year to determine who will meet Mayweather in the event of a Cotto win over Pacquiao on Nov. 14.

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Posted by on October 14, 2009 in 1




By Alex P. Vidal

SAN DIEGO, California — Unknown to most boxing fans, Oscar De La Hoya, more than anybody else, shared the humiliation of British fans who mourned the brutal fall of Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton in the “The Battle of East and West” 12-round duel for the International Boxing Organization (IBO) light welterweight crown at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 2. The 1992 Barcelona Olympics gold medalist, who now manages the Golden Boy Promotions in fact did not show up during the post fight media conference as he “accompanied” Hatton (45-2, 32 KO’s) in the hospital where he was rushed after having been brutalized by Manny Pacquiao (49-3-2, 37 KO’s) in two rounds. De La Hoya, who was himself waylaid by Pacquiao on December 5 last year in the same arena, reportedly “lost his face” after he didn’t give the 30-year-old Filipino southpaw a ghost of a chance to beat Hatton despite the Filipino ring warrior’s reputation as “giant killer”. Even after Hatton was given a clean bill of health by doctors in the hospital, De La Hoya did not anymore speak to the media for his much-awaited post mortem message He was reportedly shocked and humiliated and stayed at Hatton’s side for few minutes in the Las Vegas hospital. It was his chief executive officer Richard Schaeffer who did most of the talking to media and who justified his sudden disappearance. In the final press conference before the rumble, De La Hoya valiantly told pundits, “If I fought Ricky Hatton last December 5, he would have knocked me out”. He wanted to tell fight fans Pacquiao’s 8th-round TKO win over him was fluke. De La Hoya, whose left eye was nearly swollen shut, surrendered on his stoll at the start of 8th round and did not go down like Hatton who was bludgeoned by a single wicked left and fell like a deck of cards. If it was Hatton who fought him that night, the flamboyant De La Hoya believed he would have been blown to bits by the slugger from Manchester. After the quick stoppage of Hatton, Pacquiao, unmarked and unfazed, made the now retired De La Hoya eat his words the second time around. De La Hoya has run out of alibi and many fight fans are now convinced De La Hoya was really mauled black and blue by the smaller Pacquiao last December 5 no matter how his publicists offered excuses that the heavier De La Hoya could not meet the 147-lb weight limit in the card dubbed “Dream Match” the reason why Pacquiao had a field day peppering him with howitzers in the face. Despite the embarrassment, De La Hoya reportedly agreed to ink another deal with Hatton in the future–this time as co-promoters. Hatton announced he will shift career from prizefighter to boxing promoter like De La Hoya and hinted the possibility of taking in some world-ranked Filipino fighters in order to add luster to his future cards in the United Kingdom.

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Posted by on May 15, 2009 in 1



Monday dawned warm and rainless. Aurelio Escovar, a dentist without a degree, and a very early riser, opened his office at six. He took some false teeth, still mounted in their plaster mold, out of the glass case and put on the table a fistful of instruments which he arranged in size order, as if they were on display.

He wore a collarless striped shirt, closed at the neck with a golden stud, and pants held up by suspenders He was erect and skinny, with a look that rarely corresponded to the situation, the way deaf people have of looking. When he had things arranged on the table, he pulled the drill toward the dental chair and sat down to polish the false teeth.

He seemed not to be thinking about what he was doing, but worked steadily, pumping the drill with his feet, even when he didn’t need it. After eight he stopped for a while to look at the sky through the window, and he saw two pensive buzzards who were drying themselves in the sun on the ridgepole of the house next door.

He went on working with the idea that before lunch it would rain again. The shrill voice of his eleven-year-old son interrupted his concentration. “Papa.” “What?” “The Mayor wants to know if you’ll pull his tooth.” “Tell him I’m not here.” He was polishing a gold tooth. He held it at arm’s length, and examined it with his eyes half closed. His son shouted again from the little waiting room. “He says you are, too, because he can hear you.” The dentist kept examining the tooth. Only when he had put it on the table with the finished work did he say: “So much the better.” He operated the drill again.

He took several pieces of a bridge out of a cardboard box where he kept the things he still had to do and began to polish the gold. “Papa.” “What?” He still hadn’t changed his expression. “He says if you don’t take out his tooth, he’ll shoot you.” Without hurrying, with an extremely tranquil movement, he stopped pedaling the drill, pushed it away from the chair, and pulled the lower drawer of the table all the way out. There was a revolver. “O.K.,” he said. “Tell him to come and shoot me.” He rolled the chair over opposite the door, his hand resting on the edge of the drawer. The Mayor appeared at the door. He had shaved the left side of his face, but the other side, swollen and in pain, had a five-day-old beard.

The dentist saw many nights of desperation in his dull eyes. He closed the drawer with his fingertips and said softly: “Sit down.” “Good morning,” said the Mayor. “Morning,” said the dentist. While the instruments were boiling, the Mayor leaned his skull on the headrest of the chair and felt better. His breath was icy. It was a poor office: an old wooden chair, the pedal drill, a glass case with ceramic bottles. Opposite the chair was a window with a shoulder-high cloth curtain. When he felt the dentist approach, the Mayor braced his heels and opened his mouth.

Aurelio Escovar turned his head toward the light. After inspecting the infected tooth, he closed the Mayor’s jaw with a cautious pressure of his fingers. “It has to be without anesthesia,” he said. “Why?” “Because you have an abscess.” The Mayor looked him in the eye. “All right,” he said, and tried to smile. The dentist did not return the smile. He brought the basin of sterilized instruments to the worktable and took them out of the water with a pair of cold tweezers, still without hurrying. Then he pushed the spittoon with the tip of his shoe, and went to wash his hands in the washbasin. He did all this without looking at the Mayor. But the Mayor didn’t take his eyes off him.

It was a lower wisdom tooth. The dentist spread his feet and grasped the tooth with the hot forceps. The Mayor seized the arms of the chair, braced his feet with all his strength, and felt an icy void in his kidneys, but didn’t make a sound. The dentist moved only his wrist. Without rancor, rather with a bitter tenderness, he said: “Now you’ll pay for our twenty dead men.” The Mayor felt the crunch of bones in his jaw, and his eyes filled with tears. But he didn’t breathe until he felt the tooth come out. Then he saw it through his tears.

It seemed so foreign to his pain that he failed to understand his torture of the five previous nights. Bent over the spittoon, sweating, panting, he unbuttoned his tunic and reached for the handkerchief in his pants pocket. The dentist gave him a clean cloth. “Dry your tears,” he said. The Mayor did. He was trembling. While the dentist washed his hands, he saw the crumbling ceiling and a dusty spider web with spider’s eggs and dead insects. The dentist returned, drying his hands. “Go to bed,” he said, “and gargle with salt water.”

The Mayor stood up, said goodbye with a casual military salute, and walked toward the door, stretching his legs, without buttoning up his tunic. “Send the bill,” he said. “To you or the town?” The Mayor didn’t look at him. He closed the door and said through the screen: “It’s the same damn thing.”


The dentist is portrayed as a man who is very much absorbed in his work but well aware of the happenings around his town. He also appears to be a calm and reasonable man. The Mayor is tried to be portrayed to be unreasonable and gun-wielding type of person. However, the introduction about him is not enough to make us conclude that he is such a person as everyone suffering toothache and abscess can swear evil and even threaten to kill another even a dentist but did not mean it literally. However, the readers are easily changing their minds and are drown to the comment made by the dentist as to the twenty deaths linked to the mayor. As to the fact of no anesthesia, the reader will doubt the professional honesty of the dentist and in a way will change their mind that he is a reasonable person. In a way, he is subtly an exacting person. “One of these days” is an apt title. It could be given “Karma” or “His piece” as a title but “one of these days” just plainly captures the idea that ordinary people get “justice” in some other ways. Lastly, the ending where the mayor answers that the bill for the mayor and the bill for the town are one damn thing makes readers finally decide that he is corrupt and appreciates the “justice” delivered by the dentist. On the other hand, the essay is an easy read and does not stab the point of JUSTICE ONE OF THESE DAYS to death. It would have been better if the mayor suffers tetanus and dies in the end. It would truly be “A tooth for a tooth” justice then.

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Posted by on April 7, 2009 in 1




Tiger Woods: A one-man stimulus package

By Alex P. Vidal


CHICAGO, Illinois — He has been described as “The King” by no less than his tormentor in last year’s U.S. Open in San Diego, California, Rocco Mediate.

“He’s the man, he’s the king, he’s it,” Mediate, who pushed Woods to 91 holes, was quoted by Sports Illustrated in its March 2 issue.

Mediate added: “Our Tour’s cool, bit it’s really cool with him. I guarantee you that he wins (the Accenture Match Play).”

Mediate is among those excited to watch the 33-year-old Woods play again at the Accenture Match Play Championship at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club near Tucson, Arizona after eight months of hibernation, when he underwent surgery for reconstruction of his knee.

Mediate and his fellow Tour pro players Robert Garrigus and Rich Beem believed that Woods, who appeared in a video footage of the game’s governing bodies that submitted a bid in February 2009 to the International Olympic Committee to include golf in the 2016 Summer Games, remains to be the Tour’s biggest attraction, calling him “something of a one-man stimulus package.”

“We’re going to bring some fans back,” said Beem, winner of the 2002 PGA Championship.

In the video’s opening footage, Woods pumped his fist. He told the audience in the closing scene that “he could not think of a better sport to make an Olympic event.”

“Having the Number 1 most recognized athlete in the world playing our sport certainly is something that makes (it) even more attractive for the Olympics,” declared Ty Votaw, the PGA Tour VP who doubles as the executive director of the International Golf Federation Olympic Golf Committee.


Woods’ comeback is expected to generate other business opportunities despite the demise of his endorsement deal with General Motors.

“On his bag, he will carry the logo of AT&T, the company that sponsors his tournament outside of Washington, D.C., over the Fourth of July,” Damon Hack wrote. “Nike, which manufactures Woods’ clubs, balls and apparel, is also planning to release a new commercial timed to his comeback at the Match Play.

According to Hack, the company has launched commercials to coincide with Wood’s victories, including at the 2005 British Open and at last year’s U.S. Open, his final tournament before undergoing surgery to rebuild his left anterior cruciate ligament.

Cindy Davis, president of Nike Golf, quipped: “We look at Tiger as if he’s making history every time he tees up. We do everything we can to capitalize on that energy.”


Circumstances surrounding gold and the world beyond seem to cry out Woods’ presence, added Hack.

“The economy is tanking. The best player in baseball admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs. Golf sponsorship has become more risky amid falling television ratings and tightening purse strings,” he explained.

“Even in the calm after football season and before the basketball postseason, golf has had trouble making a dent–until now.”

Speaking of Woods’ return, Tommy Roy, executive producer for golf at NBC Sports, said: “To me, when you have what is going on in the country, people escape their troubles by watching sports story we have going right now.”

“He’s so likable in the way that he plays, it sucks you in,” Roy concluded.

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Posted by on March 1, 2009 in 1



RING OFFICIALS: Nobuyuki Kitamura (Japan), Alex Vidal (Philippines), Brad Vocale (Australia) in Osaka, Japan July 14

RING OFFICIALS: Nobuyuki Kitamura (Japan), Alex Vidal (Philippines), Brad Vocale (Australia) in Osaka, Japan July 14

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Posted by on February 28, 2009 in 1


"Life is a gift"

"Life is a gift"

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Posted by on February 28, 2009 in 1