MACAU, APRIL 8, 2013 (PHILSTAR) By Abac Cordero – Freddie Roach wants what Manny Pacquiao wants – a fifth fight with Juan Manuel Marquez in September.

“Manny wants a rematch more than anything else,” Roach told Filipino scribes at The Venetian Macao on a cold and damp Wednesday afternoon here.

“That’s the fight I want. It’s still the biggest fight out there,” he added.

And if Roach could have his way, he’d have the fight staged in Mexico City, where fight fans partied for a week after Marquez knocked Pacquiao out last December in Las Vegas.

“I want the last fight in Mexico. That’s my dream,” said Roach.

Pacquiao is very busy with the coming elections back home, and said his mind is not into boxing right now.

[Manny Pacquiao smiles alongside wife Jinkee after the husband and wife filed their respective Certificates of Candidacy for next year’s midterm elections. (AP)]

Bob Arum hopped in from one table to the discussion. He said it’s just impossible to get things done right now when Pacquiao is so busy with the elections back home.

“The problem is that until the freaking elections are done you cannot get his attention,” said Arum.

The legendary promoter said chances of Pacquiao’s next fight being held in the United States are “very slim” because of the skyrocketing tax rates.

From 31 percent, taxes for big time fights have gone up to 39.6 percent. If Pacquiao fights anywhere outside the US, he won’t have to pay as much.

Roach said it’s almost unbelievable how high the taxes are, saying that last year alone he paid $900,000 in taxes.

While Arum didn’t say he doesn’t like Mexico, he sounded like he was pitching for either Macau or Singapore as venue of Pacquiao’s next fight.

Arum and Roach are here for Saturday’s “Fists of Gold” card featuring Chinese two-time Olympic champion Zou Shiming against Eleazar Valenzuela and Brian Viloria against Juan Francisco Estrada.

“The response here is tremendous,” said Arum, who must have fallen in love with Macau the first time he came here in 2008 for a goodwill match of the then Olympic-bound US basketball team.

“It’s absolutely first class here,” said the ageless promoter, who just can’t believe his eyes every time he looks around this vast casino hotel and resort rolled into one.

Arum said tickets to Saturday’s fight, which also features Filipinos Dave and Dodie Boy Peñalosa Jr. and Millan Melido, are almost gone.

“All the expensive seats have been sold or around 70 percent of the 15,000 seats. I’m confident it will be sold out,” he said.

The Venetian Macao is the largest casino in the world, its gaming area alone covering almost five hectares of 800 gaming tables and 3,400 slot machines.

Roach said last Easter, each gaming table was surrounded by bettors four-deep.

“Macau can be the next boxing capital of the world. It’s Vegas on steroids,” said Arum.

Looking around the casino, it’s hard to disagree.

For now, Manny Pacquiao and wife Jinkee are busy for the 2013 Philippine Elections campaign. Manny is seeking re-election as congressman for Saranggani Province, while Jinkee is running for a vice-gubernatorial seat.


Pacman: Is he back to the Catholic fold? SHOOTING STRAIGHT By Bobit s. AviLA (The Philippine Star) | Updated April 4, 2013 - 12:00am

(photo of the author) Easter Sunday marked the end of the Holy Week or the Lenten Season. So one would probably think that it is time to get back to reality and put God and his church far away from our consciousness until the next religious activity comes.

But I hope that you didn’t forget that we are still in the Year of Faith, and with the recent election of the new Supreme Pontiff Pope Francis still hogging the mainstream news, it seems that the momentum of that news is still very much in the minds of many people.

In a meeting with the Laity last Tuesday evening I was given a fresh report that world boxing champion, Rep. Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, has returned to the fold of the Catholic Church.

Though I still need to really validate this report, the people who gave me this news would swear that this is true. They belong to the Charismatic group Oasis of Love of “Tatay Dodong Limchua” who counts Mommy Dionesia as one of his followers.

As we’ve already written in the past few months, after the Pacman lost his crown to Juan Manuel Marquez, even CNN reported that Mommy Dionesia, the mother of the Pacman blamed that dramatic loss to her son’s recent switch from Catholicism to the Protestant sect.

Indeed, we validated this report.. that ever since those Pastors surrounded him, the Pacman no longer wore the Holy Rosary on his neck and didn’t even make the sign of the cross.

So what happened in GenSan City? Why the change of heart or who convinced the Pacman to return to the Catholic Church?

But while this report is good news to the Catholic fans of the Pacman, there is even greater news that apparently came together with the report about the Pacman... that the Protestant Pastors surrounding the world boxing icon had also made the dramatic switch to the Catholic Church!

If there is one person whom we can give credit for this it is my good friend, Brod Noe Dora, whom I interviewed in my TV show, Straight from the Sky last Oct. 29 which I entitled “Born Protestant, Born Again Catholic.”

Brod Noe Dora was the first Protestant convert to the Catholic Church I ever interviewed. I felt like Marcus Grodi of the Eternal Word Television (EWTN) whose talkshow entitled “Our Journey of Faith” only brings as his guests those people who were like him, originally members of Protestant sects who found their way to the Catholic Church.

After that interview with Brod Noe Dora, he told me that he was off to GenSan on a mission to convert the Pacman, and apparently he has succeeded.

I have no doubt that Mommy Dionesia has been praying for the re-conversion of her son. But we must give credit to the Holy Spirit that people like Brod Noe Dora, a true blue Protestant Pastor whose father was also a Pastor found their way back to the Catholic Church... just like the way my favorite author, Scott Hahn, author of the book “Rome Sweet Home” also became a Catholic convert.

He has since written at least 10 books on Catholicism which I hope you have the time to read to know more about the Church that our Lord Jesus Christ founded.

Meanwhile, the Laity has been actively campaigning to ensure that those political candidates that supported the Reproductive Health (RH) bill into a law would face the wrath of the so-called “Catholic Vote.”

I’m sure that these people merely “pooh pooh” this move and even dared to say that there is no such thing as a Catholic vote. But like it or not all this is tied down to the Pro-Life Movement of the group of Eric Manalang of the Pro-Life Foundation of the Philippines.

In fact, here in Cebu, a new movement has come up calling themselves Lay Initiatives For Elections 2013 (LIFE), which has the support of the Cebu Archdiocese headed by Archbishop Jose Palma, who is also CBCP president. This is really getting to be so interesting.

Did you also hear that Brother Mike Velarde of El Shaddai has already begun its grassroots campaign not to vote for those candidates who supported the RH Bill?

If there is a Catholic Vote, you can bet that it has its roots in the Pro-Life Movement. In fact one of the most Pro-Life Lay organizations is the Knights of Columbus, which in the United States is at the frontline of this spiritual battle between good and evil.

Pope Francis recently exhorted the faithful to “protect the defenseless” which of course meant children inside their mother’s womb. That is a call for us Catholics to obey.

However here in the Philippines, the Knights of Columbus (KfC), which is considered one of the largest lay organizations have been strangely quiet in this Pro-Life campaign.

Let me remind these Knights of their sacred duty as Catholics to defend life.

If the RH bill passed into law, it is due to the fact that this evil triumphed in our shores because the good men and knights did nothing! Wake up Knights... and help us in clearing the smoke of Satan!

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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