(STAR) By Joaquin Henson – Manny Pacquiao walked into his dressing room swinging like he could go another 12 rounds as well-wishers gathered to toast his win over Joshua Clottey by a unanimous decision at the Cowboys Stadium here last Saturday night (Sunday morning, Manila).

Pacquiao whooped it up and threw punches in the air, looking like he didn’t just endure a gruelling grind in the ring before over 51,000 fans. Wearing his new Nike signature “Pacman Knows” blue T-shirt, Pacquiao bussed wife Jinkee on the lips and was mobbed by a selected few with credentials to join the dressing room celebration.

Pacquiao shook hands with everyone, including referee Rafael Ramos who stayed to pose for a picture and WBO officials. Then, he was taken into a private room for the mandatory urinalysis and examination by doctors accredited by the Texas state athletic commission.

When Pacquiao reemerged from the room, he had already showered and wore an argyle sweater.

There was a huge welt under Pacquiao’s right eye and his cheeks were reddened by Clottey’s blows. In contrast, Clottey’s face was hardly marked although blood trickled from his nose. His body, however, was severely battered and the speculation was he would’ve urinated blood from the banging his kidneys took.

Cowboys Stadium owner Jerry Jones was in the dressing room and told Pacquiao how proud he was that the Filipino icon made history by performing in the facility’s first boxing event.

“This was the first and people will always remember the first,” said Jones. “You make us all very proud.”

Pacquiao told Jones the experience of performing before more than 51,000 fans was “amazing” and “unbelievable.”

Pacquiao later admitted he felt a little pressure fighting in front of such a large audience. But he shrugged off the jitters, knowing if he just did what he set out to do, things would fall into place and they did.

Others in the dressing room included trainer Freddie Roach, assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez, conditioning coach Alex Ariza, cutman Miguel Diaz, wife Jinkee and sister Janet, his brothers Rogel and Bobby, RPN-9 chairman Tonypet Albano, Solar chief operating officer Peter Chanliong, lawyer Jeng Gacal, business manager Eric Pineda, Joe Ramos, Winchell Campos, Gov. Chavit Singson, Solar vice president for production Erick Tam, Chino Trinidad, Dyan Castillejo, two-time world lightflyweight champion Brian Viloria and his fiancée Erika Navarro, Michael Koncz, writer Thomas Hauser and Roger Fernandez.

Buboy Fernandez carried the metal case that contained Pacquiao’s WBO title belt and showed it off proudly.

“It wasn’t an easy fight,” said Fernandez. “I’ve known Manny since we were kids so during the fight, I knew what he would do. I told him to be careful about Clottey stepping on his foot. And before the 11th round, I reminded him about his defense because I expected Clottey to fight like he would commit suicide. I knew Manny would go to Clottey’s left to avoid the right. I knew he wouldn’t stand in front of him too long and he would move side to side. I kept telling Manny to hold up his left hand because Clottey was throwing a lot of rights.”

Fernandez said he couldn’t imagine Clottey absorbing Pacquiao’s hardest blows without going down.

“He’s really durable,” said Fernandez. “He’s never been knocked out. But Manny’s too good. He’s the best in the world.”

Cotabato power firm postpones brownout By John Unson (The Philippine Star) Updated March 15, 2010 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Cotabato City’s Muslim and Christian residents stayed glued to their television sets as World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao pummeled challenger Joshua Clottey without any power interruption.

“We ought to thank the power utility serving all of Cotabato City’s 37 barangays,” said Mayor Muslimin Sema, an avid fan of the Filipino boxing icon.

The Cotabato Light and Power Co., which serves the city and surrounding barangays in Maguindanao’s nearby Datu Odin and Sultan Kudarat towns, rescheduled its hour-long sectional blackouts to enable local folks to view the much-awaited fight uninterrupted.

Local peace advocates involved in various peace-building communities expressed elation over Pacquiao’s win against his equally tough opponent from Ghana.

“Pacquiao is a native Mindanao (son) and his being an international boxing icon will help project to the whole world that we have talents here that will help our homeland rise from its image as a conflict area into a homeland of talented, globally competitive people,” said Reverend Troy Cordero, a Christian preacher involved in projects promoting Muslim-Christian solidarity.

Senior Superintendent Willie Dangane, director of the Cotabato City police, said all four precincts under his jurisdiction did not record a single crime incident for the duration of the Pacquiao-Clottey match.

“This has been the scenario during all previous matches of Pacquiao with foreign boxers,” Dangane said.

Manny's bus ready to roll (The Philippine Star) Updated March 15, 2010 12:00 AM

[PHOTO AT LEFT - Photo is loading... Team Pacquiao bus driver Mitch Carter.]

ARLINGTON – While WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao gets ready to leave on a chartered plane with his entourage of about 120 for the three-hour flight to Los Angeles the day after whipping Joshua Clottey at the Cowboys Stadium here, a 56-seat 2007 Mercedes Setra coach rented by Top Rank for the Filipino icon will be driven 1,800 miles back to the Las Vegas garage by Mitch Carter.

The Setra was used to transport Pacquiao’s team from the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center near Dallas to the Cowboys Stadium and back during the fighter’s one-week stay in the Lone Star state.

Top Rank arranged for the coach to be driven by Carter from Las Vegas to Texas. The coach was a moving advertisement for the Pacquiao-Clottey bout as the entire vehicle was plastered with giant Pacquiao photographs announcing “The Event” at the Cowboys Stadium.

Carter, 59, was all alone in driving the coach from Las Vegas to Albuquerque, New Mexico, then to Grapevine where the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center is located. The trip took 31 hours, including an eight-hour rest stop overnight in Albuquerque.

The coach is part of a fleet of over 100 vehicles owned by the Alan Waxler Group of Las Vegas. The fleet includes 15 Setra-type coaches and luxury SUVs. The cost of a 2007 Mercedes Setra is $430,000.

Carter said Top Rank has rented the coach and his personal services as a transportation specialist since Pacquiao’s fight against Oscar de la Hoya in 2008. For Pacquiao’s fights in Las Vegas, the coach is sent to pick up passengers in Los Angeles. Carter has become a huge Pacquiao fan.

“Manny’s a generous and wonderful person,” said Carter. “Sometimes, he rides in the coach when travelling from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. There’s no one like him. He’s not just a great champion but also a great guy. He deserves the best.”

Carter said he doesn’t know how much Top Rank pays for the rental of the coach and he has never accepted money from Pacquiao.

“I do my job, that’s all,” said Carter. “But Manny gives me tickets to his fights. He usually gives me four tickets at about $500 each. I’m just happy to be able to watch him perform. I guess I’m part of Team Pacquiao now.”

Carter attended the Holy Mass celebrated by Fr. Marlon Beof at the Gaylord Texan convention hall the morning of the Pacquiao-Clottey bout and was surrounded by Pacquiao’s fans who are his regular passengers.

Carter said the coach he brought in from Las Vegas had logged 131,171 miles and will be close to 135,000 when it goes back to the garage tomorrow.

Aside from driving for Waxler’s charter services, Carter is involved with ACN video phones as an independent representative. He and wife Marianne work with ACN.

“The video phone is revolutionizing the communications industry,” said Carter. “At the moment, there are 20 countries all over the world marketing ACN’s video phones. I’m hoping to introduce it to the Philippines. I’ve been trying to sit down with Manny about it but he’s been busy training and I don’t want to be a distraction.”

Carter said he and his wife began working with ACN over a year ago and they expect to make it a full-time relationship, earning what could be a six-figure income a month.

“By 2012, ACN estimates about 365 million households in the US to be using the video phone,” said Carter. “At home, it’s plugged into the internet. And if you’re mobile, you can use an air card. The charge is $32 a month for unlimited use, including local long distance with an activation fee of $215 and $99 for the unit. ACN’s head office is in North Carolina and it’s been around since 1993.”

Carter said he plans to pursue promoting the ACN video phone in the Philippines through a Filipino dealer. – Joaquin Henson

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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