PACQUIAO  GETS  MOBBED  BY U.S.  MEDIA

LOS ANGELES, March 9, 2005 
(STAR) Gauging by the huge turnout of the US-based media personalities during Tuesday’s press workout hosted by Manny Pacquiao, his March 19 battle with Erik Morales is surely going to be a sure-fire media event.

Anxious mediamen even didn’t let Pacquiao dress up and tape his hands as they started throwing questions and shooting photographs as soon as the "Pacman" alighted from his SUV. The charismatic people’s champion didn’t mind answering questions even under the searing heat of the sun, without the aid of an interpreter.

Scribes from several national dailies and distinguished boxing writers showed how popular Pacquiao has become in the US by waiting in line for a chance to shoot their questions. Writers from the Latino community and the Filipino press were also at hand to see Pacquiao in action.

"I never thought that Pacquiao was this good. I saw his previous fight with (Juan Manuel) Marquez and he is not the one-dimensional fighter that many writers claim," said a Latino writer, who requested anonymity, according to US-based Filipino writer Winchell Campos.

"It is going to be a war when he meets Morales," he added.

Pacquiao sparred with the tall and unbeaten Jose Sta. Cruz (18-0) as well as Raymundo Beltran and completely dominated every round. In the last round, he let Beltran punch with gusto to his midsection until the end of the round, drawing oohs and aahs from the appreciative crowd who believed that the Filipino has reached peak form.

Trainer Freddie Roach requested that the sparring sessions wouldn’t be taped or photos be taken with flash bulbs but still Pacquiao proved that his readiness is enough material for the mediamen to cover. — Winchell Campos


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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