LAS VEGAS, MAY 3, 2011
(STAR) By Abac Cordero (Photo is loading... Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosley pose for photos after their final news conference in Las Vegas. Mosley will challenge Pacquiao for his WBO welterweight title on Saturday (Sunday in Manila). AP)

Manny Pacquiao came to Wednesday’s final press conference dressed like a politician. For the first time in many occasions, he also came on time.

He is now a politician, a newly elected congressman in the Philippines. At the Hollywood Theater of the MGM Grand, he showed that he’s more than just a boxer.

“All my life I had to fight as a child. I had to fight just to eat,” Pacquiao said, facing the members of the boxing media, all here like there’s an ongoing convention.

“But now when I fight Filipinos call me bayani or hero. I believe this world needs more heroes,” said the boxer, at 32 being hailed as the best ever to grace the sport.

He came in a dark business suit, and had a prepared speech on hand.

“The biggest fight of my life is not in boxing,” he said. “The biggest fight of my life is how to end poverty in my country. On Saturday, I will wear yellow gloves as a sign of unity.”

A mild applause greeted him. He sent his message across.

Yellow is considered the national color of the Philippines, where the unfortunate survive on a meager income of $2 a day, or even less, or none at all.

“Yellow is a symbol of unity. That’s the color of our President,” said Pacquiao of President Aquino, son of the slain martyr, Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, and the former President, Corazon “Cory” Aquino.

When Ninoy was felled by an assassin’s bullet in 1983, the wife, Cory, used the color yellow as the symbol of the fight for democracy.

Pacquiao knows his nation’s history. He, and Mosley perhaps, will wear yellow gloves on fight night.

“We can help the poor more if we are united, if we are together,” said Pacquiao, who just the other day was named the richest congressman in the Philippines.

Pacquiao is a giver, and on any given day he can spend hundreds of thousands of pesos on doleouts, that once, his mother warned him to leave some for himself, his family.

“When you die, you can’t take your money to heaven with you. I’m already satisfied with what I have. I thank God for what he gives us every day,” he said.

He sends children to school even if they’re not his own, and provides for beds in provincial hospitals. When this fight is over, up next is the groundbreaking of the hospital he’s building in his province of Sarangani.

Pacquiao also spoke of The Gawad Kalinga Foundation, a non-government organization that provides homes and livelihood programs for the poor.

“We need to be united. So, I like to invite you all to wear yellow on Saturday. Unity is the best weapon,” he added.

Pacquiao almost forgot about the other mission on hand, which is to beat Shane Mosley on Saturday at the MGM, and defend his WBO welterweight crown.

As Pacquiao spoke, Mosley sat and listened just a couple of feet away.

“Is this the kind of man I’d be trying to beat in the ring?” Mosley must have asked himself.

“It speaks well of him,” he said later on.

“He’s a great person,” added Mosley.

In their face-off, before the cameras after the press conference, Pacquiao and Mosley smiled at one another, briefly held hands, and looked like dear, old friends.

So, what could motivate them to fight?

“It’s the sport,” said Mosley.

“We understand it. We’re not trying to hurt anybody or kill anybody. If a knockout comes it happens. He’s a great person. I’m a great person and we love to fight.”

Even when Pacquiao is around, you can forget about boxing, as the brutal sport.

Manny insists he still has killer instinct By Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) Updated May 06, 2011 12:00 AM

LAS VEGAS – Manny Pacquiao said he still has the same killer instinct as before, that same instinct that led him to 38 knockout victories in 57 fights.

“Yes. Especially if I hate the guy,” said Pacquiao, surrounded by mediamen.

Pacquiao, who grew up and made a name knocking out his opponents, has failed to score a stoppage in his last two fights over the past year.

He failed against Joshua Clottey and Antonio Margarito, who are much bigger than him. Now, there’s some kind of pressure for him to knock Shane Mosley out.

Prior to the Clottey and Margarito matches, Pacquiao breezed through Oscar dela Hoya and Ricky Hatton, but needed 12 rounds to knock Miguel Cotto out.

Mosley has never been knocked out before, and Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, said the Filipino southpaw should be the first to do so.

Pacquiao was pressed to say who among his past opponents he hated most, and it took him a while before something came out of his mouth.

“Hmm... Dela Hoya,” he said.

But why Dela Hoya, whom Pacquiao considered or still considers as his idol?

“Because (before) the fight he sent me gloves and he signed it and wrote ‘I’m going to knock you out,’” said Pacquiao.

Then he laughed as if he wasn’t too serious about what he just said.

He was asked why he didn’t go for the kill against Margarito, when the Mexican who stood six feet tall and weighed 17 lb heavier inside the ring looked ready to go.

“Well, he’s strong. He’s tough,” he said, and the scribes took it as an answer.

Roach had a better explanation.

“Manny is a compassionate person at times, like he wouldn’t hurt Margarito,” said Roach.

“He took it easy on him in the last two rounds and let him last the fight, and asked him if he is okay a couple of times. Manny doesn’t want anyone get hurt.”

Again, Pacquiao said he still has that killer instinct.

“I still have the killer instinct. I always have the killer instinct,” he said.

He better prove it on Saturday.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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