[PHOTO - Manny Pacquiao Uses Bible to Rebuke Obama's support for Gay Marraige.]

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA, MAY 24, 2012 (INQUIRER) By Percy D. Della - Promoter Bob Arum bristled Tuesday when asked by reporters about Manny Pacquiao’s latest sermon from his makeshift ring ministry.

Crossing political swords with President Barrack Obama, who has endorsed gay marriage, the now Bible-touting Pacquiao told the “National Conservative Examiner” newspaper it was his “opinion that same-sex marriage is against the law of God.”

“Sometimes I get the impression that I’m promoting Rick Santorum, and not Manny Pacquiao,” said Arum hours after his fighter went on record and ripped Obama for his pro gay marriage stance.

[PHOTO - Santorum has also stated that the military's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy, which ended in 2011, should be reinstated and has voiced his opposition of same-sex parenting.]

Former US senator Santorum became the star of ultra-conservatives while running in the Republican Party’s presidential primaries. He was more than willing to joust with anyone over homosexuality and contemporary culture.

“You have to understand, since the last fight last November, he (Pacquiao) has become a totally different person,” explained Arum. “He’s super religious. He does Bible study every night… But be that as it may, who knows what effect it will have on his ring ability on June 9th?”

June 9 is when Pacquiao, boxing’s pound-for-pound king, tangles with a hungry Timothy Bradley for the WBO world welterweight title at the MGM Grand Terrace in Las Vegas.

More than his ability to stay focused for his fight against Bradley, the bigger question facing Pacquiao—and Arum—is how the boxer’s provocative opinion on gay marriage would affect traffic for the bout, both in gate receipts and pay-per-view buys. As expected, the gay community and its liberal supporters have blasted Pacquiao and his pronouncement.

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It was the second time in a week that Pacquiao’s recommitment to Christianity has sparked a media frenzy.


Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer told the “Los Angeles Times” five days ago that his fighter has become drawn to the Bible after almost losing his fight in November against Juan Manuel Marquez.

“All the distractions caught up with Manny in his last fight,” Roach told the Times. Freddie also disclosed a “pre-Marquez climate that included ‘girls and everything that goes with it,’ late nights of gambling and excessive physical wear playing too many games of basketball.”

Roach said his fighter has undergone a period of adjustments and is back with his wife Jinkee. The Times said that according to Roach, Jinkee served her husband with divorce papers on the eve of the Marquez fight.

There is no divorce in the Philippines and how either party to a marriage can file for divorce in America is beyond me, since that divorce, even if granted, is not valid back home.

But Roach has since said he was misquoted on the divorce story, although he said he knew it was not all sweetness and light between Manny and Jinkee before the Marquez fight.

Loose lips sink ships, and so the saying goes. But in the case of Roach, his disclosures about Pacquiao’s indiscretions may have helped steady the Filipino sports icon’s boat leading to his bout with Bradley.

Credit also goes to Freddie for blowing the whistle that the boxer’s coterie of friends, advisers and hangers-on who cling to him like barnacles to a ship, like gnats hovering nonstop around a carabao, would dare not touch.

Since they thrive on the champion’s largess, members of the cabal are bound by a code of silence not to talk about their main man’s escapades.

Speak no evil, hear no evil.

The heck with you, Roach, whose language is as salty as a sailor’s sometimes, appears to be telling the boxer’s coterie. Roach, incorrigible when it comes to his prized pupil’s well-being, manned up to tell it all.

Indeed, Roach’s rat is out of its Hollywood hole.

It’s Pacquiao vs Bradley, lest we forget By Sev Sarmenta Philippine Daily Inquirer

ON JUNE 9, eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao will stake his WBO welterweight crown against undefeated Timothy Bradley (28-0) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Since we cannot have the Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight we want, we’re getting the next best thing Pacman’s circle can come up with to appease our Pacquiao appetite.

The Bradley duel also gives Pacquiao a fight to stay battle-ready. As he has declared time and again, he’ll fight anybody his promoter asks him to fight.

It’s Pacquiao versus Bradley but we all seem to be looking beyond this match and crave for that one fight we want to see. We’re assuming Pacquiao will make short work of Bradley and that the unbeaten American is not in the same class as Mayweather or Pacquiao’s other opponents like Juan Manuel Marquez, Erik Morales, Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Antonio Margarito or Miguel Cotto.

We’re praying that this fight will be over soon and that Mayweather and Pacquiao and all the other people involved will finally agree to make that fight happen.

But let’s all take it one step at a time, as Pacquiao is probably doing now as he sweats it out in the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles.

No matter how improbable, Bradley could be a dangerous opponent with a surprise, just like when Pacquiao stunned Marco Antonio Barrera and the boxing world in 2003.

Bradley has a wicked right hand and attacks like his sobriquet “Desert Storm.” He doesn’t have much of a KO punch, though, and may not be able to hurt Pacquiao.

There’s also the wariness about Bradley’s propensity for headbutting. Whether it’s intentional or not is hard to prove but it seems to be part of the risk when you fight Bradley. He likes to stay inside his opponents and thus the possibility of noggins clashing is there.

In his 2011 battle against erstwhile undefeated Devon Alexander, Bradley accidentally headbutted his opponent at least six times. Alexander had a nasty cut above his left eye. Bradley eked out a technical decision to remain undefeated.

In November that same year, Bradley had a forgettable battle against a listless and over-the-hill Joel Casamayor that was mercifully stopped in the eighth round. A main supporting bout to the Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez third battle at the MGM last year, the match did not bring out the best in Bradley and did not immediately shove him into the radar for Pacquiao’s next fight even if he remained unbeaten.

But here we are, three weeks away from Bradley and Pacquiao climbing into the MGM ring. At best, it will be an action-filled encounter since Bradley likes to mix it up and Pacquiao is a willing dance partner.

For Bradley, this is what HBO boxing anchorman Jim Lampley calls a “signature fight” that every fighter needs in his career.

He will go for the upset and the distinction of stopping Pacquiao’s win streak.

The crowd will get its thrills but will really look ahead to the possibility, no matter how remote, of Pacquiao finally facing Mayweather. It’s the fight that every fan wants to see, where Filipinos want to see something happen.

It’s seeing Pacquiao finally land one, two or even more punches to an opponent who’s been avoiding him because (as Michael Buffer says when he introduces two undefeated fighters) he does not want the “O” in his fight record to go.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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