MAYWEATHER  TIFF  ON  HOLD; PACMAN FOCUSED ON POLITICAL FIGHT

MANILA, DECEMBER 3, 2009
(STAR) By Abac Cordero - There’s only one fight Manny Pacquiao is looking at right now, and that’s the one in the political arena.

So, unless Bob Arum offers him the moon, Pacquiao is no longer inclined to fight in March or May as earlier expected.

Pacquiao’s lawyer, Franklin Gacal, yesterday told The STAR that the reigning pound-for-pound champion has come to a decision the other night that his next fight will come after the May 10 elections.

“As of last night, Manny said he doesn’t want to fight in April or even May. There will be no fight. Maybe it will come after the elections,” said Gacal.

Pacquiao is running for a congressional seat in his home province of Sarangani where he will face a political heavyweight in his bid for public office.

The most exciting boxer in the planet today feels that he needs all the time he has to campaign, and has decided to put his boxing career on hold.

“Ayaw niya muna lumaban (He doesn’t want to fight yet),” said Gacal, who said Arum, scheduled to fly in today, will also meet with the boxer regarding their plans.

But the Top Rank president, according to Gacal, will be here for another reason outside of Pacquiao’s next fight. Reports said it has something to do with another deal with giant TV network ABS-CBN.

It looks like the Lopez-owned network has struck another deal with Pacquiao regarding his next fights. GMA-7 and Solar Sports have been the boxer’s network partners for his most recent fights.

Arum has met with Richard Schaefer regarding the big fight between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. And while there’s a “gag order” on the negotiations, Arum said the initial meeting was “very good.”

Even if Pacquiao decides to fight after the elections, the negotiations should continue, because the fight, if and when it happens, should be the biggest of this generation.

The Pacquiao-Mayweather fight can easily generate more than a $100 million in revenue, and if it takes place, the FIlipino icon can earn more than $30 million.

“Everything will depend on the developments after the elections. But again, as of last night, the March 13 and May 1 dates for Pacquiao’s next fight are out,” said Gacal.

When he sits down with Pacquiao, Arum will also discuss the boxer’s future in politics. Initially, Arum had hoped that Pacquiao would run unopposed.

But his rival for the congressional seat, one who comes for a deeply-rooted political family, did not budge and has also filed his certificate of candidacy like Pacquiao.

Bata, Amit set title duel with Koreans By Joey Villar (The Philippine Star) Updated December 03, 2009 12:00 AM

[PHOTO AT LEFT - Team RP A’s Efren ‘Bata’ Reyes and Rubilen Amit ponder their next shot en route to a 7-1 rout over Team Europe during the 2009 World Mixed Doubles Classic at the Nuvo City Lifestyle Center. Joey Mendoza]

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines’ Efren “Bata” Reyes and Rubilen Amit played a near-flawless game this time as they overpowered Team Europe’s Mika Immonen of Finland and Borana Andoni of Albania, 7-1, yesterday to arrange a title showdown with Team Korea in the 2009 World Mixed Doubles Classic at the Nuvo City Lifestyle Center in Libis, Quezon City.

The one-sided victory was far from their error-prone 7-4 win over the Japanese pair of Hayato Hijikata and Kaori Ebe in the opener of the event where the Filipinos needed to lean on a couple of lucky breaks to break out of a four-all count and post their first win.

Against Immonen and Andoni, Reyes and Amit were all business, seizing control early and never giving their rivals a chance to recover with superb pocketing.

Earlier, Team Korea’s Charlie Williams and Park Eun Ji spoiled a projected all-Filipino finale as they beat the host country’s second team, Lee Van Cortez and Fil-Am Shannelle Loraine, 7-3.

The RP-Korea final is set today.

Reyes, a former world 9-ball and 8-ball champion, said he was impressed with Amit’s superb pocketing and solid breaks.

“She’s the main reason why we won, she showed better pocketing and breaking than me,” said Reyes referring to her pint-sized but power-hitting partner.

But Amit, winner of the inaugural world 10-ball women’s championship, refused to take the credit and said it was Reyes who anchored their romp.

“We all know him, he’s always humble, but the truth is, he carried us to this win,” said Amit, who admitted to have had a hard time shaking off jitters against the Japanese.

“I struggled in our first game together. I was afraid to make mistakes because I’m playing with my idol, that’s why I keep on committing mistakes and bad shots,” Amit said. “But he (Efren) told me to just be myself and relax, I did that and it really helped me.”

Immonen, who ruled the recent World 10-ball Championship, was far from top form against the RP duo, missing a textbook shot, making a scratch and coming up with poor preparation for his partner.

“I played a horrible game,” said Immonen, who also retained his US Open title.

Team Europe still placed second in Group A and gained a shot for third place in the $12,000 tournament supported by Puyat Sports, ABS-CBN Sports, ESPN-Star Sports and The Philippine STAR.

Team Korea clinched the first finals berth in the event presented by Nuvo Land Philippines, Inc. and Dragon Promotions by beating Team Philippines B. The pair of Charlie Williams and Eun Ji Park topped Group B with a 2-0 mark.

Corteza and Loraine will take on Team USA’s Shane Van Boening and Amy Chen in the evening session for the right to vie for third.

The 10-ball tournament, produced by Dragon Promotions, is telecast live on ESPN Star Sports and ABS-CBN throughout Asia and the Philippines.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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