MANILA,  November 5, 2004 (STAR) By Joaquin Henson - Footage of the Manny Pacquiao-Fahsan 3-K Battery bout will be shown on the giant US cable network HBO (Home Box Office) the same weekend as the fight set in an open-air field at the Fort in Global City, Taguig, on Dec. 11.

Solar Sports executive vice president Peter Chanliong told The Star yesterday New Jersey promoter Murad Muhammad is arranging for HBO to air highlights of the scheduled 12-round match as a teaser for Pacquiao’s grudge return fight against Juan Manuel Marquez on Feb. 26.

Solar Sports is producing the Fort bout and Chanliong said the country’s No. 1 sports station is treating it like a world championship match.

"The fight means a lot to Filipino fans," said Chanliong. "First, the Thai is no pushover. Manny will have his hands full for sure. Second, this is the prelude to the big Marquez rematch. Third, this is a homecoming for Manny who hasn’t fought here in close to two years. We’re pulling no stops in producing a world-class coverage. We’re committed to a first-class coverage like an HBO event."

Chanliong said Solar Sports is using at least six cameras for the fight. Only four cameras are usually mobilized for a bout.

"We’re going by HBO standards," noted Chanliong. "There is a lot of interest in this fight, not only in the Philippines, but all over the world. The fact that HBO will show footage of the fight is proof of that."

Trainer Freddie Roach is flying in from Los Angeles two weeks before the fight to supervise Pacquiao’s tapering off. Muhammad will bring in a large entourage from the US boxing community to witness the fight.

A source said popular ring announcer Michael Buffer, who patented the battlecry "Let’s Get Ready To Rumble," may be flown in to add glitter to the event which is expected to draw at least 30,000 spectators. Buffer’s availability and fee are reportedly being studied.

Pacquiao, who will celebrate his 26th birthday a week after the bout, has fought only once this year. Marquez survived three trips to the canvas in the first round to hold Pacquiao to a disputed split draw in Las Vegas last May. Judge Burt Clements saw it a 113-all draw but later admitted he made a mistake and should’ve scored a one-point margin for Pacquiao.

Pacquiao and Fahsan will meet the press at 12 noon today in Pier 1 at the Fort.

Fahsan, 30, flew in last night from Bangkok to attend the media gathering with his manager Ekarat Chaichotchueng.

This year, Fahsan has figured in five fights, four against Filipinos. Last May, he lost a 12-round decision to Art Simonyan in an International Boxing Federation (IBF) superbantamweight title eliminator in Illinois. Despite the loss, Fahsan is still highly ranked by the IBF as the No. 4 superbantamweight contender. The defeat to Simonyan was Fahsan’s first after 32 wins in a row dating back to 1995.

A durable fighter, Fahsan has never been knocked out. His seven losses, including four straight to start his career, were all on points. Fahsan has lost only once in his last 35 outings and boasts a 44-7-1 record, with 23 KOs.

Fahsan knocked out Pirus Boy of Indonesia in the first round to capture the vacant World Boxing Federation bantamweight crown in February 1999. He stopped Duncan Magubane of South Africa in his first and only defense of the title before relinquishing the throne. Fahsan is the reigning IBF Pan Pacific superbantamweight champion.

Pacquiao and Fahsan are both southpaws. They’re even in height at 5-6. The Thai turned pro in 1992, three years before Pacquiao’s debut, and has fought in 52 bouts compared to 42 for the Filipino. Fahsan is five years older so experience is clearly on his side.

In terms of punching power, Pacquiao has a superior knockout rate–78.9 percent of his wins came inside the distance. Fahsan’s knockout rate is 52.3 percent.

Dubbed the "Filipino Destroyer" because at least 20 of his victims were Filipinos, Fahsan has never lost to a Filipino. Four of his losses were dealt by Thais. Tony Wehbee of Australia, Muhammad Nurhuda of Indonesia and Simonyan of Armenia were others who outpointed Fahsan.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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