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Manny Pacquiao next Philippine president?

“Somebody asked me about the current choice we’re being given in the presidential election. I said, Well, it’s like two of the scariest movies I can imagine.”
–Dean Koontz

By Alex P. Vidal29572442_10211417967587760_356020253209754251_n

NEW YORK CITY –– Don’t be scared.
The hoi polloi in the Philippines failed to send action star Fernando “Da King” Poe Jr. to Malacanang in 2004 partly because of the “Hello Garci” scandal.
Come 2022 presidential election, will they try again and succeed when boxing icon Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao becomes a candidate?
Like “Da King”, Pacquaio is identified with the masa, the“mamang sorbetero”, “isang kahig, isang tuka” and the bakyacrowd.
When Poe was “killed” in the film, some of his fans ran amuck literally (this happened somewhere in Mindanao when Poe was not yet a presidential candidate, according to some reports).
When Pacquiao lost a fight, some of his irate fans cried “wewuz robbed” and were determined to lynch sportswriters like me who explained why he was defeated.
Candidates like Pacquiao, Mocha Uson, Dolphy, Poe, Erap could easily hit paydirt in the Philippines.
Article VII, Section 2 of the 1987 Constitution provides that no person may be elected President unless he or she is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter, able to read and write, at least 40 years of age on the day of the election, and a resident of the Philippines for at least 10 years.
Pacquiao, who will turn 40 on December 17, 2018, will be qualified to run in 2022 under the Philippine charter.

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At least two prominent leaders known all over the world have predicted Pacquiao’s ascension to Malacanang in the near future.
They were Top Rank promoter Bob Arum in sports and President Rodrigo R. Duterte in government.
I personally heard Arum predict and endorse newly crowned WBA welterweight champion Pacquiao during his conquest of Oscar De La Hoya in Las Vegas in 2008.
“Because of his popularity and the tremendous pride and glory that he gave the Philippines, Manny (Pacquiao) will definitely be the next president of the Philippines,” Arum, a lawyer, told us during the pre-fight press conference 10 years ago.
During Pacquiao’s 38th birthday in 2016, Duterte, who asked Pacquiao to retire after demolishing Lucas Martin Mathysse in Kuala Lumpur on July 15, 2018, told the crowd in the young senator’s party that “with your own style, alam ko na magiging presidente ka rin. Ipagpatuloy mo ang ginagawa mo(I know that you will also someday become the president. Just continue what you are doing). ”
Pacquiao’s popularity among the same quality and bracket of voters that gave Poe, former president and now Manila mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada, former senators Lito Lapid, Ramon Revilla Sr., Bong Revilla and President Duterte overwhelming votes, has snowballed now that he has bagged the WBA 147-lb diadem and he is expected to provide the fans with more excitement and entertainment when he defends his title.

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Now that Pacquiao has revealed he isn’t yet quitting as a prizefighter at 39 and he will be promoted by his own MP Promotions without the need for any imprimatur from Arum and without any curfew from Freddie Roach, this would give him the leverage to solidify his political wherewithal and pile up more millions of dollars for his campaign kitty.
Fans have almost forgotten and have even forgiven Pacquiao for his lackluster performance against Jeff Horn and for hiding a shoulder injury in losing by unanimous decision to Floyd Mayweather Jr. that cost those who placed bets for him millions of pesos.
The way his seventh round KO victory over the Argentine dynamo was received by adoring fans in the Philippines could be a tell tale sign and a curt message for other presidential candidates with doctorate and Harvard degrees to begin shaking in their boots.

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Posted by on July 21, 2018 in BOXING

 

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WBA king Pacquiao is an ‘eyesore’

“Once you stop benefiting their interest, you become an eyesore.”

–Chayan Tain

By Alex P. Vidal

NEW YORK CITY — Of the four reigning world welterweight champions in the four world governing bodies today, newly crowned World Boxing Association (WBA) champion Manny Pacquiao is the most divergent if not antipodal.

At 39 and toting a ledger of 60 wins (39 KOs), seven losses, and two draws, Pacquiao can also be considered as the weight category’s “eyesore.”
His ascension as the WBA champion after knocking out in the 7th stanza defending titlist Lucas Matthysse (39-5, 36 KOs) on Saturday (July 15) night at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, was sort of a mockery of Sweet Science although he richly deserved the accolades for becoming a world champion once more.
We won’t deny Pacquiao the splendor of his latest victory as he really was impressive in putting away the defrocked Argentine, but of the four concurrent welterweight galaxies, the hard-hitting Filipino champion miserably pales in comparison.
If paraded with his counterparts in the World Boxing Council (WBC), World Boxing Organization (WBO), and International Boxing Federation (IBF), the striking difference is easily exposed.

UNDEFEATED

WBC champion Keith Thurman is 30 years old and undefeated with 28 wins and 22 knockouts; IBF champion Errol Spence Jr. is 28 years old and unbeaten with 24 wins and 21 knockouts; and WBO champion Terence Crawford also 30 years old and also unscathed with 33 wins and 24 stoppages.
Crawford took the WBO crown with a violent 9th round knockout win over Pacquiao conqueror Jeff Horn on June 6, 2018.
Any attempt for a unification would be absurd.
For bringing home the WBA belt, Pacquiao was condemned to be exposed as a carpetbagger champion.
For the first defense of his WBA diadem, Pacquiao will definitely avoid the top three contenders: No. 1 Jessie Vargas; No. 2 Jamal James; and No. 3 Jose Luis Benavidez as they are all Americans.
Pacquiao will never defend his crown in the American rings owing to his tax woes with the United States’ Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and especially now that he is estranged to Freddie Roach and former promoter Bob Arum.
If the WBA orders him to face No. 4 contender Egidijus Kavaliauskas of Lithuania, Pacquiao will most likely risk fighting a potential Jeff Horn as Kavaliauska is 30 years old and also undefeated in 20 wins and 16 knockouts.

‘LESS DANGEROUS’

The newly crowned Filipino senator will most likely settle for the “less dangerous” No. 5 contender Amir Khan of Great Britain, 31, and has impaired to 32 wins, four losses with 20 knockouts.
After fighting Horn in Australia and Mathysse in Malaysia, Pacquiao might fight next in London or even Lithuania.
No more glitzy MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay Arena in Las Vegas and panoramically enthralling Cowboys Stadium in Texas.
Now that Pacquiao is “his own man”, is no longer beholden to Bob Arum’s Top Rank, and is not anymore under the tutelage of Roach, he can dictate his own terms and continue to ignore calls for him to retire.
The win against Mathysee didn’t mean though he should stay in the fistic business if he cares for his safety (he is turning 40 on December 17, 2018), but it did help to boost his ego and regain his confidence to continue racking up oodles of dollars for his presidential ambition.
He may have won the battle in wrecking Mathysee, but, man, he is a lonely king in the WBA throne; he is a strange bedfellow and an “eyesore” in the welterweight kingdom.

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2018 in BOXING

 

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Manny Pacquiao is our World Cup

“The only thing I focus on is just winning. Once we win, everyone remembers a winner. That’s what I’m focused on.” –Kristaps Porzingis

By Alex P. Vidal 29572442_10211417967587760_356020253209754251_n

ARLINGTON, Virginia — The only source of our pride in sports has been Manny Pacquiao.
The 39-year-old senator and part-time pugilist is our own version of World Cup.
Everywhere he fights, Pacquiao brings with him our dignity and pride, just like the soccer players worshiped like demigods in FIFA football fields from Milan to Guadalajara and Moscow.
During his prime, Pacquiao disposed of rivals from Mexico, Colombia, Japan, Thailand, Korea, Russia, Australia, England, Hawaii, Dominican Republic, and Africa with supreme dominance.
If he topples Lucas Martin Matthysse, 35, on Saturday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Pacquiao will add Argentina on the list of those countries.
Filipinos pin their hopes on Pacquiao as a one-man wrecking crew against any boxer from superpower countries.
Only in boxing can we have an opportunity to gain the respect and attention from countries that have qualified and even won the FIFA World Cup since the pre-war era.

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Pacquiao is so immensely popular that his former promoter Bob Arum considered him as “the next president of the Philippines” just like how Brazil immortalized Pele and Argentina hailed Diego Maradona.
We cheer for either France or Croatia, finalists in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, but whoever wins on Sunday in Moscow will not have a direct impact on our pride and glory as a nation.
Both Croatia and France have big followers in every Filipino community worldwide.
On the other hand, if Matthysse (39-4, 36 KOs) will hurt and out-duke Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs) for the 12-round WBA welterweight title, it’s like losing a World Cup final anew.
Pacquiao also blew away another “World Cup final” when he bowed to Jeff Horn via 12-round unanimous decision for WBO 147-lb title in Sydney, Australia on July 2, 2017.
Once is enough. Twice is a humiliation.

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We won’t get tired though of reminding boxing fans in the Philippines that Pacquiao has not won a knockout since 2009.
Some Pacquiao fans think the boxer is a Superman.
They complained and cried “we wuz robbed” each time someone who is younger defeated him.
Pacquiao weighed 144 lbs when he scored a technical knockout (TKO) against Miguel Angel Cotto, 145 lbs, at 0:55 in the final stanza of the 12-round WBO welterweight war at he MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada on November 14, 2009.
Since beating Cotto, Pinoy boxing fans were hoping that Pacquiao would again pulverize his opponents.
There was a stoppage in his sixth fight since blasting to bits Cotto, but it was Pacquiao who got knocked out cold at 2:59 in the sixth round by Juan Manuel Marquez.
In Pacquiao’s last seven fights after the Marquez debacle, he won five and lost two times (to Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Horn).
Pacquiao won all his five bouts on points. He struggled against a patsy Horn.
What are his chances against Matthysse who arguably is better than Horn?

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2018 in SPORTS

 

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Pacquiao-Roach love affair: Walang forever

“No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.”
–Hal Borland
By Alex P. Vidal
 
 
NEW YORK CITY— For 17 years, Manny Pacquiao and Freddie Roach became boxing’s version of Kirk and Michael Douglas, Julio and Enrique Iglesias, and Arthur Jr. and Douglas MacArthur.
They were a father and a son who epitomize congruence and plausibility.
It seemed like they were destined to swap engagement rings and share an epitaph.
No amount of intrigue and jealousy from other trainers and pugilists could put a dent on their solid romance as athlete-coach.
Not even a boarder wall could divide boxing’s most sensational and formidable partners.
Their collaboration since 2001 has produced some of the finest and head-turning performances in the history of prizefighting since Welsh sportsman John Graham Chambers wrote the Marquess of Queensberry Rules in 1865.
Their tandem has bankrolled the fistic game’s richest deal ever imagined, richer than what Muhammad Ali had earned in the “Rumble in the Jungle” in 1974 and “Thrilla in Manila” in 1975 combined.
Unlike David and Jonathan, whose covenant of friendship has been recorded in the books of Samuel, the Manny-Freddie liaison has been written in the mayhem inflicted on some of the marquee names run over by the Pacquiao Express.

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“Walang forever,” so goes the bakya Tagalog saying.
“Everything is ephemeral: on a long enough timeline, everything ends,” suggest the minimalists Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus.
“Your relationships will end. Your happiness will end. Your depression will end. Your life will end. Nothing lasts forever–not even those diamonds in the advertisement.
Yet we live our lives like the best things will continue into perpetuity–like the good stuff will stick around and the bad stuff will go away once we obtain everything we want. But, good or bad, life is limited: everything is eventual, endings are inevitable.”
In his comeback fight on June 24, 2018 in Malaysia since losing to Jeff Horn in Brisbane on July 2, 2017, Pacquiao (59-7-2, 38 KOs) will fight Golden Boy Promotions’ ace fighter, WBA welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse (39-4, 36 KOs) for 12 rounds without Roach on his side.
For the first time since Pacquiao made a debut in Las Vegas in 2001 versus Lehlo Ledwaba for the IBF super-bantamweight diadem, Roach won’t train him before a championship bout.
The 29-year-old Pacquiao’s training will be supervised by his childhood buddy, Restituto “Buboy” Fernandez, and will be mostly held in Mindanao starting April.
It appears there was a falling out between Top Rank’s Bob Arum and the MP Promotions owned by the senator-boxer regarding the latter’s tax troubles with the IRS which has remained unsettled.
The Malaysia fisticuffs need at least $15 million and Arum remains skeptical unless an affront fund of $5 million has been released.
 
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Posted by on March 11, 2018 in BOXING, SPORTS

 

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