PACQUIAO VS MEXICAN BARRERA: DUEL FOR PRIDE AND GLORY

MANILA, September 3, 2003 (STAR) A non-title fight with so much at stake.

This was how Manny Pacquiao’s business manager, Rod Nazario, yesterday described his ward’s Nov. 15 fight against Mexican ring gladiator Marco Antonio Barrera possibly in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Pacquiao’s International Boxing Federation (IBF) superbantamweight crown won’t be at stake in the upcoming bout with the former world champion. The fight is scheduled for 12 rounds with a maximum weight of 126 lbs, the featherweight limit.

Still, the stakes are highest when the two fighters with explosive punches square off. The Filipino champ is expected to settle for a $350,000 (at least P19 million) purse and the Mexican hero assured of a bigger paycheck – a staggering $1 million.

No Filipino fighter, according to Nazario, has ever received a purse as big as Pacquiao’s, not even former world featherweight champion Luisito Espinosa or even the legendary Gabriel "Flash" Elorde.

"This is a non-title fight but if we win this one, I can say that Manny Pacquiao will be the greatest Filipino boxer ever because Barrera is one of the best pound-for-pound boxers today," said Nazario during the weekly PSA Forum at the Manila Pavilion.

"Wala pang Filipino na nakatanggap ng ganitong kalaki sa boxing. I think Luisito’s biggest purse ever was $150,000. Not even Elorde kahit na mababa pa ang pera noon," he added.

If Pacquiao wins, Barrera, this early, is guaranteed of a rematch that could take place at least 120 days after the Nov. 15 showdown. And if that happens, Pacquiao stands to receive $700,000.

From there, it will be "the sky’s the limit" for the native of Gen. Santos City whoever he fights next, be it in the superbantam or featherweight division.

Nazario firmly believes that the upcoming fight won’t last the distance.

"It will not last 12 rounds. It’s either him (Barrera) or us," he said.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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