PACQUIAO A HIT IN NEW YORK; ORDERS THRONG TO 'READ BIBLE'

MANILA, MARCH 1, 2012 (BULLETIN) By NR RAMOS - Supporters greeted boxer Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao with loud cheers when he appeared recently at the Chelsea Pier’s The Lighthouse in New York as part of a promotional jaunt relating to his June 9 fight with undefeated pugilist, Timothy Bradley.

Quite amazed with the very passionate salutation was Bradley himself, who was also present at the event.

“[It’s as if] he has the support of the whole country,” said he as quoted in a report on GMA News Online.

But Pacquiao himself was not too keen about having to simply bask in the adulation, the same report said. Acting more like a preacher than a battle-weary fighter, Pacquiao ordered the throng to “read the Bible.”

Apparently, the boxer has just rediscovered the Holy Book, and is more than eager to share its wonders.

“Because that’s the commandment of God and without God, I am nothing,” he reasoned.

Then again, the fans, it seems, were not too interested about that, peppering Pacquiao with questions relating to his much-awaited fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. instead, as if Bradley wasn’t there at all.

Pacquiao as with trainer Freddie Roach, are not closing their door on the possibility for the fight to still push through. Pacquiao hinted on this when a reporter asked him if the Bradley fight is going to be his last since having announced his impending retirement.

Pacquiao smiled and said, “No this is not my last fight, two fights more and that’s it.”

Later, he also said, “My 11-year-old son told me, ‘Daddy I want you to retire after you defeat Mayweather.’”

Freddie Roach himself implied the same, saying, “Mayweather is on the horizon and after that fight we can call it a day.”

Not eager to see the Pacman retire is Top Rank chief, Bob Arum.

The veteran promoter said he wants Pacquiao to continue with his boxing career inasmuch as he is still a great inspiration to the “many dreamers out there.”

“Because [Pacquiao’s life story] was and is really inspirational. And that’s when you chase your dream,” Arum, a native New Yorker, told the crowd.

“Imagine a poor kid from the southern part of the Philippines. Coming to Manila, living in cardboard shack in the street. Fighting with all these other Filipino kids who want to use boxing to rise to prominence. Making it out of that milieu and winning world championships one right after another,” Arum added.

Manny Pacquiao Teaming Up with Michael Jordan

[PHOTO - MANNY IN NEW YORK. Mike Lawrie/Getty Images]

According to BoxingScene.com, welterweight champion, Manny Pacquiao is in talks to take his product line from Nike to NBA legend Michael Jordan's own Nike branch-off, the Jordan Brand.

Pairing up with one of the most well-known sports figures of all time will take Pacquiao's already enormously successful career to a new level, even after he does eventually retire from boxing.

Hooking up with Nike has given Pacquiao's career a boost, as his line is big success with his ever-growing fanbase, and adding Jordan's name anywhere near Pacman's will be a double threat that would surely boost sales of Pacquiao endorsed merchandise even more.

Fans in Pacquiao's home country of the Philippines already compare him to Jordan, according to Antony Gordan, president of Creative Talent & Advisory Group, the company heading the talks about switching Pacman over to the Jordan Brand from Nike.

"...the infatuation of sports fans in the Philippines and surrounding areas in Asia with basketball finally hit a 'marketing tipping point' when the local media began branding Pacquiao as the so-called 'Michael Jordan of boxing,'" Gordan said.

Along with fellow welterweight champ Floyd Mayweather, Pacquiao is already one of the most known boxers since Mike Tyson, so it would be a no-brainer for Jordan to bring Pacquiao on board with the Jordan Brand, making him the third boxer to team up with the Jordan brand behind Roy Jones, Jr. and Andre Ward.

With Pacquiao saying he has two or three more fights left in him, he most likely has around one or two more years left in the sport of boxing. The Jordan Brand getting the hype surrounding partnering up with Pacquiao as he bids farewell to the sport that made him a worldwide star will help ensure Pacquiao's presence in boxing won't be gone even though he isn't fighting anymore.

If the deal does indeed go through, as it appears it will, Jordan would give Pacquiao's career a breath of fresh air, one that could have his career soaring, like Jordan once did on the basketball court.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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