[PHOTO AT LEFT - Manny Pacquiao (R) of the Philippines punches Antonio Margarito of Mexico during the fifth round of their 12-round WBC World Super Welterweight title boxing fight in Arlington, Texas November 13, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Stone (GLOBE & MAIL)

MANILA, NOVEMBER 17, 2010 (STAR) By Alexis Romero - New World Boxing Council (WBC) super welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao earned a guaranteed $15 million (around P645 million) fight purse plus around $5 million in pay-per-view (PPV) share from his resounding victory over Mexican Antonio Margarito.

Pacquiao earned a total of roughly $20 million or P860 million from his thrashing of Margarito on Saturday (Sunday in Manila), according to ESPN sports analyst Dan Rafael.

As a result, Pacquiao will surely go up in Forbes magazine’s ranking of richest athletes.

In July, Pacquiao was the 8th richest on Forbes’ list, behind Miami Heat superstar LeBron James.

Pacquiao’s victory has elicited calls for a mega-fight against undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr.

His coach, Freddie Roach, threw down the gauntlet to Mayweather, saying the American boxer needs to stop talking about beating Pacquiao and prove it in the ring.

“Mayweather has to put up or shut up now or move out of the country,” Roach said. “Let’s face it. Manny is way above him at this point.

“Because I remember when he was ducking (Antonio) Margarito and he wouldn’t fight him either,” he added. “If he doesn’t fight Manny now (Mayweather) should retire.”

Roach said Pacquiao stuck to the game plan Saturday at Cowboys Stadium and it paid off in one of the most impressive victories of the Filipino fighter’s career, as Pacquiao pounded out a 12-round unanimous decision over Margarito.

Pacquiao, who has won 13 consecutive fights since losing to Erik Morales in March 2005, was planning to face unbeaten Mayweather earlier this year before negotiations broke down over a drug-testing dispute.

Heading into Saturday’s fight, some had speculated this might be the Filipino’s last fight but Pacquiao said two days ago that he wants to have three more fights.

And after the way he bloodied, bruised and disfigured Margarito’s face it looks like the sport’s pound-for-pound champion is still at the top of his game.

Roach made good on his promise to personally go into Margarito’s dressing room before the fight to watch the taping of his hands. Margarito is coming off a one-year ban from the sport after getting caught using illegal wraps in a fight against Shane Mosley.

• New drug controversy

Now a new controversy has erupted from the dressing rooms as Roach on Sunday said Margarito attempted to take the drug ephedrine before the world title fight.

Roach said they asked that Margarito undergo a drug test immediately.

“He (Margarito) pulled a bottle of ephedrine out of his bag,” Roach said.

“My guy called him on it and he put the pill down and didn’t take it. Ephedrine is illegal. I said I want a drug test right now. He did have it in his bag and he did attempt to take it.”

Athletes sometimes use ephedrine because it increased energy and alertness.

“It is like three cups of coffee. It is like speed. It picks you up,” Roach said.

Ephedrine is banned by the International Olympic Committee and major sports the National Football League, Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association.

• Not a bit surprised

Roach said Saturday’s fight went pretty much the way he expected with the bigger and stronger Margarito not presenting many surprises for them other than the fact he came into the fight with a 17-pound weight advantage.

All three judges scored the fight in Pacquiao’s favor, with one judge – Jurgen Langos – having Pacquiao winning all 12 rounds.

Roach thought Margarito, who landed some solid blows in the sixth and eighth round, won just one round.

But the Mexican paid the price as he suffered a nasty gash under his right eye and failed to show for the post fight news conference because he had to go to the hospital for treatment.

Roach didn’t say whether Margarito underwent a drug test after the fight.

“Manny only lost one round and did what he was supposed to do,” Roach said. “We worked on going to the ropes and sometimes he stayed there a little too long.

“I told him to box him, beat him down the middle all night long. The jab worked perfectly, the straight left hand landed well, too. If he had stayed on the body he would have stopped him. Body shots were taking its toll.”

• AFP wants Pacman to promote peace

Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is cool to the proposal of the Army to include Pacquiao in the peace panels that will negotiate with Moro secessionists and communist rebels.

AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta Jr. said Pacquiao is already preoccupied with a lot of activities as a lawmaker and a boxer.

“The idea is great but he may be doing too much,” Mabanta told reporters via phone patch.

“If he is a member of Congress, adding another task would be tedious (for him),” he added.

Mabanta said Pacquiao does not need to sit in the negotiating panels to support the government’s peace efforts.

“When Pacquiao was fighting, there was no exchange of fire. Probably it would also be nice if this can be duplicated…but probably in his capacity as peace advocate, not as a peace panel member,” he said, adding his charisma can be used in other ways such as advertisements or programs designed to reach out to rebel groups.

“He (Pacquiao) can speak via ads or through advocacies, not necessarily as a member (of the peace panels). It takes so much of his time,” the AFP spokesman said.

On Sunday, the Army said it will recommend Pacquiao to be part of the peace panels that will talk to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

The Army statement was issued after Pacquiao won his fight against Margarito in Dallas. The victory enabled Pacquiao to bag his eighth world championship title.

Army spokesman Col. Antonio Parlade Jr. said Pacquiao can unite the country and can help the government in its efforts to achieve lasting peace.

“Don’t you notice there is no fighting anywhere whenever Manny fights? Maybe lasting peace will be easier to achieve with the stature of people like Manny at the helm,” Parlade said in an earlier interview.

Pacquiao is an Army reservist with a rank of senior master sergeant. He belongs to the 15th Ready Reserve Division.

Yes for Peace is also considering Pacquiao as an endorser, a source from the civil society group said.


(STAR) ARLINGTON (AP) – Manny Pacquiao was more concerned with the set list for his upcoming concert than he was with Floyd Mayweather Jr. The fight every boxing fan wants to see may never happen, but Pacquiao had a firm date to sing at Lake Tahoe before heading home and taking up his more formal duties as a congressman in the Philippines.

All was well early Sunday after Pacquiao cemented his claim as boxing's best by giving Antonio Margarito such a brutal beating that he went to the hospital.

Margarito remained in the hospital on Sunday and promoter Bob Arum said the boxer has a broken right eye socket and will have surgery Tuesday in Texas.

About the only problem for Pacquiao was that he couldn't sign autographs for adoring fans because he had trouble holding a pen.

"My hands are swollen and they really hurt," Pacquiao said.

Small wonder, considering Pacquiao had just spent 12 rounds bouncing those hands off of Margarito's head. He hit Margarito from almost every angle and with stunning accuracy, closing both his eyes and bloodying his face while dominating every round of their 150-pound showdown.

It was a virtuoso performance, though not terribly surprising since boxing fans have come to expect that from the little superstar. Size never mattered on a night when speed ruled and the crowd of 41,734 at Cowboys Stadium roared at every combination.

Pacquiao's mother got so caught up in the excitement that she briefly fainted as the fight ended. Most everyone else stayed upright, watching in delight as Pacquiao finished off a night's work by kneeling down in a neutral corner and saying a prayer of thanks.

The lopsided win gave Pacquiao his eighth title in as many weight classes in a remarkable career that began with him fighting at 107 pounds as a teenager in the Philippines. He was in charge the entire way, battering Margarito so badly that Pacquiao was pleading with the referee to stop the fight in the 11th round so his opponent wouldn't have to take any more punishment.

"I told the referee, 'Look at his eyes, look at his cuts,'" Pacquiao said. "I did not want to damage him permanently. That's not what boxing is about."

No sooner had the judges handed in their tallies, though, than Pacquiao was answering questions about the one fighter he has yet to beat. Mayweather may be the only credible opponent left for Pacquiao, though promoter Bob Arum talked after the fight about a possible bout with Shane Mosley or a third fight against Juan Manuel Marquez.

But the congressman made it clear he was tired of the politics of boxing when it comes to the one fight that matters most.

"I don't want to talk about Floyd Mayweather," Pacquiao said. "If there's a decision I'll take it to Bob Arum."

If Mayweather spent $65 to watch the pay-per-view he may be even more reluctant to fight Pacquiao than before. He also has legal problems stemming from an altercation with the mother of his children that could interfere with a possible fight in the spring, but Arum believes that if Mayweather really wants to fight then the bout could be made.

Margarito was supposed to be a rugged test for Pacquiao, if only because he was so much bigger. But it was clear from the opening round that Pacquiao would have no trouble landing punches up the middle even though he gave away 17 pounds and nearly 5 inches in height.

Margarito was plenty game, advancing forward throughout the fight while trying to land big punches to the head. But he paid a terrible price as Pacquiao carved up his face and had him fighting bloodied and nearly blind in the late rounds.

"There was no way I was going to quit," he said. "I'm a Mexican, we fight until the end."

That end finally came when the bell sounded to mercifully end the 12th round, though the outcome was never in doubt since the middle rounds. Pacquiao seemed to let up on Margarito in the final round, giving up a possible knockout to take compassion on his opponent.

Back home, where even crime stops when Pacquiao fights, the end touched off celebrations across the country. President Benigno Aquino III, who is attending the APEC summit in Japan, rushed back to his hotel room to catch the bout and sent his congratulations.

Boxing has never seen anything like Pacquiao, whose string of recent performances has reinvigorated the sport. His latest win earned him at least $15 million, some of which he spent to charter a 757 to Dallas to bring in some 200 members of his rapidly growing entourage.

The plane was set to take everyone home Sunday, then Pacquiao was flying to Lake Tahoe for a Tuesday concert before preparing to return to the Philippines. Once home, he'll get back to more mundane concerns, like making sure schools in his congressional district are functioning and getting funding for a new hospital that is badly needed.

Mayweather may be in his future, but there may be a point where Pacquiao doesn't need Mayweather anymore. He certainly didn't need him Saturday night to draw a huge crowd to Cowboys Stadium, where he now has one more win this year than the Cowboys themselves.

The crowd watched as Pacquiao put on the kind of offensive performance that Mayweather seldom gives in the ring.

"My ultimate concern as a fighter is I want the people to be happy," Pacquiao said.

Consider that mission accomplished. For one night, at least, they were happy as could be.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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