SEPTEMBER 29, 2008
(STAR) By Abac Cordero - Manny Pacquiao is simply laughing off what’s considered as a late, ill-advised and desperate attempt to have his Dec. 6 fight with Oscar dela Hoya in Las Vegas called off.

“Are they crazy?” was Pacquiao’s immediate reaction, according to someone very close to him, to those calling for the cancellation of his boxing license.

Rufus Rodriguez, a congressman from Cagayan de Oro, suggested that Dela Hoya is just too big and too strong for Pacquiao, and the lawmaker is against the fight.

Saying he was concerned with Pacquiao’s safety, he has asked the Games and Amusements Board under chairman Eric Buhain to try to stop the fight by canceling Pacquiao’s boxing license.

But it may be a little too late. The fight contract has already been signed, and tickets to the 17,000-seat MGM Grand Arena being sold out just hours after organizers started selling them.

Dela Hoya, 35, stands 5’10 1/2 and has a reach of 73 inches while Pacquiao, 29, stands 5’ 6” with a reach of 67 inches, a very big difference in boxing.

It won’t be the first time however, such a disparity would be seen on top of the ring, and in some instances, the smaller fighter, in this case Pacquiao, ends up victorious.

“It is not the size that matters but the fighting heart,” wrote boxing analyst and North Cotabato Vice Gov. Manny Piñol who went for a knockout victory for Pacquiao.

Pacquiao, now in the US gearing up for the highly anticipated match that could gross $100 million in earnings, couldn’t believe what’s going on.

“Are they only after the publicity?” he reportedly asked.

Pacquiao said he wouldn’t enter into a fight if he thinks there’s no chance of winning, a sentiment being shared by his trainers led by Freddie Roach.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission is the only body that has jurisdiction over the fight, and not the GAB or even the World Boxing Council since there’s no title at stake.

The GAB is the government body regulating professional sports in the Philippines, and included in its powers is the issuing of licenses with the power to revoke, too.

Keith Keizer, executive director of the NSAC, told that NSAC had “approved the fight” and is only body that has “jurisdiction over the fight.”

Kizer said any cancellation of Pacquiao’s license will not have any “effect or impact” on the NSAC decision allowing Pacquiao to fight Dela Hoya in Las Vegas

Lawyer Rodrigo Salud, the WBC founding secretary-general, said in recent reports that the cancellation of Pacquiao’s license by the GAB “cannot be done unilaterally and without a proper hearing.”

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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