(STAR) By Abac Cordero – In just a couple of weeks probably, Manny Pacquiao will have to start counting his seven-digit earnings for his sensational knockout victory over David Diaz last Saturday at Mandalay Bay.

Pacquiao refused to answer questions regarding his guaranteed purse for his most recent bout, although previous reports said it’s supposed to be in the vicinity of $5 million or approximately P225 million.

The peso falling against the US dollar (P44.90 to US$1) only makes Pacquiao a richer man. When he defeated Juan Manuel Marquez for almost the same price last March, it was barely P41 to a dollar.

Pacquiao did not answer questions regarding his purse, even when he was pressed inside his two-bedroom pad in the posh La Brea district of LA. He just smiled when asked how much his purse was.

Obviously, he’s happy with what he’s getting.

“Ako pa,” he said smiling.

Pacquiao will receive a guaranteed purse of around $3 million, if previous reports are accurate, and should get just a little less than that when his share on the pay-per-view sales are cashed in.

Each pay-per-view hit is worth $49.50 and in the weeks leading to the fight, promoters were looking at around 300,000 to 400,000 hits.

The rising price of gas in the US made some fans skip the 300-mile journey from California to Vegas, and instead watch the fight on PPV. Only 8,362 fans showed up at the 12,000-seat Events Center.

“The figures in the pay-per-view sales should be out in two to three weeks,” he said.

By that time, he’d probably be in Manila sealing more endorsement contracts, or in his hometown in Gen. Santos City, attending to his Business Management studies at the Notre Dame College.

Even his promoters, led by Bob Arum of Top Rank, would not bare the exact figures under the Diaz fight contract, although it had been released to the press that Diaz is getting $800,000 guaranteed.

GenSan ‘generals’ ready hero’s welcome for Pacquiao Wednesday, July 2, 2008

KORONADAL CITY – The “generals” of General Santos City will greet with honor newly crowned world boxing lightweight champion Manny Pacquiao as soon as he comes home after his scheduled return to Manila this Friday.

Mayor Pedro Acharon Jr. yesterday said preparations are underway for a “grand hero’s welcome” for Pacquiao from the “generals,” the term residents of General Santos City use for themselves.

The mayor said they have yet to confirm when Pacquiao will head back to General Santos City from Manila.

“For now, we don’t want to disturb him since he is still busy with interviews after his win.”

“All the ‘generals’ are happy with the victory of Pacquiao… everybody is excited to see him again,” Acharon said.

Pacquiao is enlisted in the Reserve Army of the Armed Forces and has been promoted thrice after consecutive boxing victories. His recent promotion was as Reserve Army Master Sergeant, the highest rank for an enlisted man in the military.

As to security for Pacquiao, Central Mindanao police director Chief Supt. Felizardo Serapio said he has instructed General Santos City police director Senior Supt. Robert Po to ensure enough personnel would maintain order and supervise vehicular traffic, which is expected to be jammed from the airport to the city proper during the motorcade. – Ramil Bajo

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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