'YANIG  SA  TAGUIG'  SHOWDOWN:  FAHSAN  SAYS  HE'LL  DESTROY  PACQUIAO

MANILA, December 10, 2004 
(STAR) By Abac Cordero - While Manny Pacquiao kept quiet about his chances, Fahsan 3K Battery just got louder with his.

"I will give Manny Pacquiao big disappointment. I will knock him out," declared the 30-year-old Thai during yesterday’s press conference for tomorrow’s awaited "Yanig sa Taguig" showdown at The Fort.

"You’ll all be surprised reading your newspapers Sunday that Fahsan beat your Pacquiao," he added during the hour-long press conference held at the 22nd floor of the neat and elegant Discovery Suites along Ortigas.

Fahsan, a southpaw like Pacquiao, is a certified Filipino-beater, having stopped more than 20 Filipinos in his 44 wins as a pro — with only seven defeats, a single draw and 23 knockouts.

He’s hoping to include Pacquiao’s name on the list by the time he flies home Sunday.

Pacquiao, who has a shining ring record of 38-2-2 with 30 KOs, listened intently as Fahsan’s manager, Jimmy Chaichotchuang, sent his message across the cold, carpeted and crowded lounge.

"Basta ako, hindi na ako magsasalita kung mapapatumba ko siya. Mahirap magsalita ng tapos. Sa ring ko na lang patutunayan sa Sabado," said the Filipino boxing champ when it was his turn to speak.

The fight is scheduled tomorrow at 9 p.m. in an open-air venue at The Fort in Taguig while the official weigh-in, at 126 lbs, is set this morning, also at The Fort.

Also present during the press conference were American promoter Murad Muhammad and Pacquiao’s business manager Rod Nazario who worked for a $300,000 purse for the Filipino sensation.

Muhammad, a burly but friendly guy who can talk for hours, said Fahsan indeed is a very dangerous fighter.

"Today he’s worth $25,000 but tomorrow he could be worth $500,000. He knows what he’s here for and that’s to beat Pacquiao. This is going to be the fight of his life. For him, this bout is a beat-Pacquiao-and-be-a-superstar fight," he said.

Joining Pacquiao on the ring tomorrow night are his American trainer Fred Roach, his assistant Buboy Fernandez and noted cutman Lenny de Jesus of Mexico. The referee has yet to be named although Bruce McTavish was at the head table yesterday.

The last time Pacquiao lost a fight was in August of 1999 when he absorbed a stunning third-round knockout against Medgoen Singsurat in Thailand for the WBC International super-bantamweight crown.

Pacquiao hasn’t lost in 13 fights since then.

Roach is confident that Pacquiao will get past Fahsan and eventually gear himself up for his exciting rematch with Mexican WBA and IBF featherweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez on Feb. 26 either in Las Vegas or Nevada.

"We’re not going to trip over and fall and make mistakes in this bout," he said before joining those at the presidential table.

Meanwhile, the event, presented by Smart Padala, Talk n Text and Smart Buddy, offers a 50 percent discount to Smart subscribers when they buy patron tickets (P1,000). They just have to present their Smart, Talk n Text and Addict Mobile SIM to any SM Ticketnet outlet.

Notes: Tickets for tomorrow’s slam-bang affair are priced as high as P10,000 and as low as P100. According to Murad Muhammad, the promoter, tickets are still available for everyone. He’s confident that before the starting bell, the place will be jumping with Pacquiao fans. "I was told that Filipinos are like Latinos. They buy tickets on the last minute. This happens all the time. A venue with a 10,000 seating-capacity can sell only 3,000 tickets a week before the fight, 3,000 more on the eve of the fight and another 3,000 on fight night itself. Then before you know it, you’ve got a packed venue," he said. For journalists, accreditation cards are given on a very restricted scale — one per reporter and one per editor. No problem with that. But what journalists are concerned of, this early, is the possible absence of a working area before, during and especially after the fight. Organizers said a room would be designated for the press — but only with chairs, tables and refreshment. No phone lines. "We’ve been informed of that need only last Monday and it takes two weeks before a line could be installed in that open-air venue," journalists were told yesterday. Not a "smart" move from the organizers.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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