SPORTS NEWS THIS PAST WEEK
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

PACQUIAO TELLS SUPPORTERS: DON'T WORRY, JUST PRAY FOR ME
[“God is good every time. He gives me strength that’s why huwag kayong kabahan basta ako naman ang lalaban sa taas ng ring. All I need is for you to pray for me and I will take care of it in the ring,”]


APRIL 21 --HOLLYWOOD, — While Floyd Mayweather Jr. spends the last two weeks of before the May 2 megabout praising himself, Manny Pacquiao, on the other hand, chooses to preach. With the biggest bout of his life just around the corner, Pacquiao told Filipino journalists not be nervous and asked for prayers from his supports. “God is good every time. He gives me strength that’s why huwag kayong kabahan basta ako naman ang lalaban sa taas ng ring. All I need is for you to pray for me and I will take care of it in the ring,” Pacquiao, a born-again Christian convert, said after he wrapping up his Monday workout at the Wild Card Boxing Club. When asked how he wants to win over the undefeated American Mayweather, Pacquiao said he’s leaving it all up to the Lord. “Nasa kamay ng Panginoon yon. Hindi natin pwedeng pangunahan. Basta we’re doing our best in training nasa Panginoon yung blessing.” Pacquiao also said his positive energy comes from God. READ MORE...

ALSO Money: I'm better than Ali, Robinson


File photo
 - Floyd Mayweather Jr. insists he's the greatest boxer who ever lived. Not Muhammad Ali, the self-proclaimed "Greatest". And not even "Sugar" Ray Robinson, the former welterweight and middleweight champion whom many boxing pundits agree is the best man in history to have ever laced up a pair of gloves. In an interview with SportsGrid.com's Jake O'Donnell, the undefeated Mayweather argued his case as "the best ever," saying no one can convince him that he's inferior to both Ali and Robinson. "No one can ever brainwash me to make me believe that Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali was better than me. No one could ever brainwash me and tell me that," said Mayweather, who faces Manny Pacquiao in less than two weeks in what is deemed as the richest fight in boxing history. Both Ali and Robinson have had remarkable boxing careers, with the former defining heavyweight boxing with his unique skills and charisma and the latter for his prolific record highlighted by 173 wins in a total of 200 fights - including his showdowns with rival and fellow great Jake LaMotta. READ MORE...

ALSO: Weight no problem for Pacquiao vs Mayweather


Manny Pacquiao during his morning training at the Pan Pacific Regional Park in Holywood, California. Rem Zamora/INQUIRER
HOLLYWOOD—Manny Pacquiao may be battling bigger foes in the welterweight division but at least, he doesn’t have to worry about his weight. “There’s no problem with my weight since my natural fighting weight is 140 pounds,” Pacquiao said in Filipino after awarding the winners of his weight-loss challenge on Sunday at Florentine Gardens Hollywood. “I can even make it to 135. I’m not worried. I’m worried about how much more I need to eat.” Pacquiao did not reveal how much he wanted to weigh on fight night, saying: “It all depends on how my body feels.”  READ MORE...

ALSO: Pacmania sweeps Philippines ahead of Mayweather clash


A woman poses in front of a poster of Pinoy boxing icon Manny Pacquiao at a store in Manila on Sunday, April 19. Pacquiao's face is on shirts, dolls and postage stamps. His life story is playing in movie houses and millions are getting ready to party as the country's boxing hero's 'fight of the century' nears. AFP/Noel celis 
Manny Pacquiao's face is on shirts, dolls and postage stamps, his life story is playing in movie houses and millions are getting ready to party as the Philippine boxing hero's "fight of the century" nears.
Pacmania is sweeping the Southeast Asian nation of 100 million people ahead of the May 2 Las Vegas bout against unbeaten Floyd Mayweather to decide who is the best boxer of their generation. "The mood is upbeat. Of course, it's the fight of the century," Manila film producer Lucky Blanco told AFP. Blanco is a co-producer of the Pacquiao film: "Kid Kulafu," now showing at scores of theatres across the country and a high-profile scene-setter for the world's richest fight. For many, the 36-year-old Pacquiao, winner of an unprecedented eight world championships in different weight divisions, symbolizes their hope of escaping the grinding poverty that afflicts one in four of his countrymen. READ MORE...

ALSO: Roach feels Pacman nearing peak form


Freddie Roach
LOS ANGELES – As Manny Pacquiao started tapering off, his trainer, Freddie Roach, has held off on his predictions for the fight that’s about to take place. Pacquiao sparred eight rounds and added six rounds on the mitts Tuesday. The numbers are expected to go down further starting today. “We’re getting close to the fight and we already sparred 12 rounds a couple of days ago. We just need to maintain,” said Roach. “We’re really close but what I saw today was just perfect for the game plan. I’d like the fight to be tomorrow but we still have a couple more days,” he said. The doors to the Wild Card Gym have been closed to the media since the public workout last week. But the past two days have been a little loose. Roach had invited the media, mostly Filipinos, inside once Pacquiao started to cool down after a two-hour session. READ MORE...

ALSO: Bayless ‘honored’ to work Mayweather-Pacquiao bout


Referee Kenny Bayless (left) with Manny Pacquiao in this file photo.
LOS ANGELES – Veteran referee Kenny Bayless is ecstatic to get the assignment of his life. The 64-year-old Bayless will be part of boxing history after being appointed to work the megabuck showdown between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao on May 2 (May 3 in Manila) in Las Vegas. He couldn’t be happier to once again be associated with a Pacquiao fight “Well, it’s been an honor for me to referee Manny Pacquiao. He is a great fighter,” Bayless told ABS-CBN from Las Vegas. This marks the eighth time Bayless will be working a Pacquiao fight. He was the third man in the ring for the Filipino’s bouts with Erik Morales (second fight), Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, Juan Manuel Marquez (third and fourth fights) and Timothy Bradley (second fight). READ MORE...

ALSO: Speed, Power key to victory, says Pacquiao


Manny Pacquiao works out a sweat at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood on Tuesday. (Nick Giongco) Manny Pacquiao works out a sweat at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood on Tuesday. (Nick Giongco)
Los Angeles — Manny Pacquiao moved around the ring at the Wild Card Boxing Club on Tuesday as if he was already standing right in front of Floyd Mayweather. As he bobbed and weaved, using lightning-quick head and shoulder motion aimed not only to break his defense but also to mess him up, Pacquiao threw single rights and lefts on the strands and corner pads The punch traveled in a straight line, cutting through the balmy air inside the gym and hitting the target in a snap that left the ropes wiggling, the ring posts shaking and the canvas reverberating. One thing is crystal-clear: Pacquiao intends to inflict hurt and pain the first chance he gets when they square off on May 2 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Pacquiao says he has all Mayweather all figured out and the battle plan calls for an all-out war at the onset. Still, Pacquiao will not go out there looking for a knockout, saying he has to carefully plan his shots to avoid a repeat of his devastating one-punch knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012. “I will try to win each round by using my quickness, volume punching and (punching) power,” said Pacquiao, a 2-1 underdog but a live one at that. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA NEWS REPORT:

Pacquiao tells supporters: Don’t worry, just pray for me

HOLLYWOOD, APRIL 27, 2015 (INQUIRER) Mark Giongco @MGiongcoINQ Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 — While Floyd Mayweather Jr. spends the last two weeks of before the May 2 megabout praising himself, Manny Pacquiao, on the other hand, chooses to preach.

With the biggest bout of his life just around the corner, Pacquiao told Filipino journalists not be nervous and asked for prayers from his supports.

“God is good every time. He gives me strength that’s why huwag kayong kabahan basta ako naman ang lalaban sa taas ng ring. All I need is for you to pray for me and I will take care of it in the ring,” Pacquiao, a born-again Christian convert, said after he wrapping up his Monday workout at the Wild Card Boxing Club.

When asked how he wants to win over the undefeated American Mayweather, Pacquiao said he’s leaving it all up to the Lord.

“Nasa kamay ng Panginoon yon. Hindi natin pwedeng pangunahan. Basta we’re doing our best in training nasa Panginoon yung blessing.”

Pacquiao also said his positive energy comes from God.

READ MORE...
“I have peace of mind. God is with me. His strength is with me everyday. Relax na relax ako.”

The eight-division champion even quoted a bible verse he seemed to have memorized not only in his mind but also in heart.

“Do not fear when I’m with you, do not be in dismay for I’m your God, I will strengthen you and help you and I will hold you with my righteous hand. Isaiah 41:10.”

Ever since the Fight of the Century between Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao and Floyd "Money" Mayweather Jr. was announced, everyone and anyone has had something to say about who will eventually emerge victorious.

But in this survey, INQUIRER.net wants to know only one opinion: yours. Who do YOU think will win the bout on May 2 and how?

The results of this survey will be published in an infographic, to be released on Fight Day, showing how your prediction compares with the rest of the survey's participants.


PHILSTAR

Money: I'm better than Ali, Robinson Updated Wednesday April 22, 2015 - 12:00am


File photo

MANILA, Philippines - Floyd Mayweather Jr. insists he's the greatest boxer who ever lived.

Not Muhammad Ali, the self-proclaimed "Greatest".

And not even "Sugar" Ray Robinson, the former welterweight and middleweight champion whom many boxing pundits agree is the best man in history to have ever laced up a pair of gloves.

In an interview with SportsGrid.com's Jake O'Donnell, the undefeated Mayweather argued his case as "the best ever," saying no one can convince him that he's inferior to both Ali and Robinson.

"No one can ever brainwash me to make me believe that Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali was better than me. No one could ever brainwash me and tell me that," said Mayweather, who faces Manny Pacquiao in less than two weeks in what is deemed as the richest fight in boxing history.

Both Ali and Robinson have had remarkable boxing careers, with the former defining heavyweight boxing with his unique skills and charisma and the latter for his prolific record highlighted by 173 wins in a total of 200 fights - including his showdowns with rival and fellow great Jake LaMotta.

READ MORE...
And for these, Mayweather said Ali and Robinson have earned his respect.

"But one thing I will do - I'm going to take my hat off to them and respect those guys because those are the guys that paved the way for me to be where I'm at today," added Mayweather, who has yet to be defeated in 47 professional fights.

But when it comes to being the best boxer in history, Mayweather is convinced that it is him.

It's certainly not Ali, whom Mayweather singled out for being upset by a young and inexperienced Leon Spinks in September 1978 to yield the WBC and WBA heavyweight titles.

"Leon Spinks beat him when he had seven fights. They'd never put a fighter in there with Floyd Mayweather with seven fights," he continued.

Ali would later avenge his loss to Spinks in the same year with a unanimous decision to regain his belts. He would go on to have unforgettable showdowns with Sonny Liston, Floyd Patterson, Joe Frazier and George Foreman among other heavyweight stars.

But it appears Mayweather deliberately ignored those, even pointing out the "rope-a-dope" technique Ali employed against Foreman in their 1974 clash in Congo - which ended up in a shocking eighth round knockout for the fighter formerly known as Cassius Clay.

"So you gonna tell me that it's cool to lay on the ropes and take punishment and let a man tire himself out from beating you and then he basically fatigued? You hit him with a few punches and he go down and quit, and you want to be glorified for that?," Mayweather argued. - Dino Maragay/STAR/philstar.com


INQUIRER

Weight no problem for Pacquiao vs Mayweather Francis T.J. Ochoa @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 03:25 AM| April 21st, 2015


Manny Pacquiao during his morning training at the Pan Pacific Regional Park in Holywood, California. Rem Zamora/INQUIRER

HOLLYWOOD—Manny Pacquiao may be battling bigger foes in the welterweight division but at least, he doesn’t have to worry about his weight.

“There’s no problem with my weight since my natural fighting weight is 140 pounds,” Pacquiao said in Filipino after awarding the winners of his weight-loss challenge on Sunday at Florentine Gardens Hollywood.

“I can even make it to 135. I’m not worried. I’m worried about how much more I need to eat.”

READ: Former boxer, caregiver win Pacquiao weight-loss challenge

Pacquiao did not reveal how much he wanted to weigh on fight night, saying: “It all depends on how my body feels.”

Mayweather’s boast

READ MORE...
Pacquiao, the sport’s only eight-division champion, has never had problems in the welterweight division, where he is slated to meet undefeated American Floyd Mayweather Jr. on May 2 (May 3 in Manila) at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

The two clash in boxing’s most awaited bout, an event expected to draw almost $400 million in total revenues.

Mayweather has come out and said he would not only win but win “in a beautiful fashion,” in a recent interview with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith. He added that he expected the Filipino to fight differently than his previous opponents, most of whom were on “survival mode” when they fought him.

READ: Mayweather: Five ways to beat Pacquiao, no way to beat me

Eating Pacquiao’s dust

On Sunday, Pacquiao was asked about Mayweather’s place among all-time greats, but he refused any direct comment.

“Floyd, I don’t wanna say bad things about him,” the Sarangani representative in the Philippine Congress said. “But he’s good, he’s fast.”

Pacquiao has been training so hard and has improved so much as far as conditioning is concerned that even those who run with him during early morning jogs are starting to eat his dust.

“I used to be able to run along with him before, but now I no longer can because he’s just too strong,” said Arnel Fontanilla, a former boxer who won the weight-loss challenge.

Meeting Stallone

Pacquiao’s training at Wild Card Gym here has drawn a lot of celebrities, the latest of whom was action star Sylvester Stallone. Reports leaked from the closed-door meet between the two stars had it that Stallone invited Pacquiao to join the cast for the next “The Expendables” movie.

READ: This time, ‘Rocky’ throws support for ‘Pacman’

Pressed for details regarding the meeting, Pacquiao said Stallone, who played an underdog boxer in the Oscar-winning film “Rocky” and its sequels, just dropped by to offer encouragement.

“He’s showing his support for the fight,” said Pacquiao. “He always watches the fight.”

Originally posted: 5:52 PM | Monday, April 20th, 2015


GMA NEWS ONLINE

Pacmania sweeps Philippines ahead of Mayweather clash By CECIL MORELLA,GMA News April 21, 2015 11:26am - See more at: Uploaded on 11:43AM Apr 21


A woman poses in front of a poster of Pinoy boxing icon Manny Pacquiao at a store in Manila on Sunday, April 19. Pacquiao's face is on shirts, dolls and postage stamps. His life story is playing in movie houses and millions are getting ready to party as the country's boxing hero's 'fight of the century' nears. AFP/Noel celis

Manny Pacquiao's face is on shirts, dolls and postage stamps, his life story is playing in movie houses and millions are getting ready to party as the Philippine boxing hero's "fight of the century" nears.

Pacmania is sweeping the Southeast Asian nation of 100 million people ahead of the May 2 Las Vegas bout against unbeaten Floyd Mayweather to decide who is the best boxer of their generation.

"The mood is upbeat. Of course, it's the fight of the century," Manila film producer Lucky Blanco told AFP.

Blanco is a co-producer of the Pacquiao film: "Kid Kulafu," now showing at scores of theatres across the country and a high-profile scene-setter for the world's richest fight.

For many, the 36-year-old Pacquiao, winner of an unprecedented eight world championships in different weight divisions, symbolizes their hope of escaping the grinding poverty that afflicts one in four of his countrymen.

READ MORE...
The movie tells the story of the runaway high school dropout who, years before becoming a ring legend, sold doughnuts on the streets and stacked shelves with "Vino Kulafu," a cheap Chinese wine brand.

Years later, as he became one of the world's richest sportsmen and one of the most famous Filipinos, a Manila television network would give the left-hander another name: "The National Fist" (Pambansang Kamao).

Pacmania always sweeps the Philippines ahead of his fights, but the intensity dropped in recent years after Pacquiao lost an unprecedented two straight bouts.

He then had three wins, reviving excitement and hopes Pacquiao still has what it takes to be the world's best.

But Mayweather is the opponent his fans have always wanted him to fight.

Souvenir frenzy

Millions of Filipinos will don Pacman paraphernalia to cheer their idol on live television screens during the fight, which will take place on a Sunday morning in the Philippines.

Baseball caps, T-shirts, $68 boxing gloves signed by Pacman himself, and $565 vinyl dolls of Pacquiao boxing against the Disney character Mickey Mouse are flying off shelves.

"On fight day everyone wants to be seen wearing something that will symbolise their support," Joy Saransate, manager of a Pacquiao-owned Team Pacquiao memorabilia shop in Manila, told AFP.

Government agencies have even been swept up in Pacmania, with the state postal authority this week releasing half a million stamps of a fighting Pacquiao.

"This... is a fitting tribute to his exceptional character and ability that truly unites the nation whenever he fights," postmaster-general Josie de la Cruz said.

Pacquiao, a sometime actor, politician and professional basketball player on the side, also released a video last week of a new song: "I Will Fight for the Philippines (Lalaban Ako para sa Pilipino)," to be used for his ring entrance in Las Vegas, that is getting widespread publicity in the media.

Whetted by saturation newspaper and television coverage, and primed by training clips fed through his official social media sites, Filipinos are clearing their schedules to make sure they will be able to watch the fight.

It will be shown live on pay-per-view television, while local networks also struck an unprecedented deal to air it without ads and on a slightly-delayed basis on free television.

However, in keeping with tradition throughout his career, many Filipinos will prefer to watch the fight in public places, including at gyms and parks across the country or in restaurants and watering holes.

A popular pizza chain in Manila is taking reservations for 200 seats at $16 each so fans can cheer their hero on while swigging beer and munching on buffalo wings.

"Pacquiao fights always pack them in, but this time we expect even more people to come because of the quality of the opponent," restaurant manager Hershey Ebalo told AFP.

Blanco, the Pacquiao film producer, said he expected the streets of the Philippine capital, a sprawling metropolis of 14 million, to be empty on fight day, with criminals also taking a day off.

"Definitely there will be no crime on the streets, just like in past Pacquiao fights," he said. — Agence France-Presse


PHILSTAR

Roach feels Pacman nearing peak form By Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) | Updated April 23, 2015 - 12:00am


Freddie Roach

LOS ANGELES – As Manny Pacquiao started tapering off, his trainer, Freddie Roach, has held off on his predictions for the fight that’s about to take place.

Pacquiao sparred eight rounds and added six rounds on the mitts Tuesday. The numbers are expected to go down further starting today.

“We’re getting close to the fight and we already sparred 12 rounds a couple of days ago. We just need to maintain,” said Roach.

“We’re really close but what I saw today was just perfect for the game plan. I’d like the fight to be tomorrow but we still have a couple more days,” he said.

The doors to the Wild Card Gym have been closed to the media since the public workout last week. But the past two days have been a little loose.

Roach had invited the media, mostly Filipinos, inside once Pacquiao started to cool down after a two-hour session.

READ MORE...
They’ve cut down on the number of sparring in this camp. Thursday, Saturday and Monday will have very minimal numbers as well.

“He (Pacquiao) doesn’t need like 150 rounds that we used to. We’re not even at 90 yet. He doesn’t really need that,” said Roach.

Pacquiao’s strength coach, Justin Fortune, has also been instructed to hold on to Pacquiao each time he goes out on the road or the mountains of Griffith Park.

The last week, Pacquiao had gone up Griffith Park with reckless abandon. It’s time to slow down, according to his chief trainer.

“We want to save it for the fight and not leave it here in the gym,” said Roach.

He was more cautious with his words concerning a knockout.

“The thing is we haven’t knocked any welterweights out (since 2009),” said Roach, and Mayweather, being the bigger fighter, may survive.

But it doesn’t mean that the unbeaten champion can’t lose every round.

“He’ll be like 160 by fight time. He’ll be a light middleweight by fight time. So, I can’t predict a knockout for this one.

“But we will outscore him. That’s what we’re planning to do. If you throw more punches and score on more punches then you win rounds,” he said.

Fortune agreed.

“Manny started to taper off yesterday because you can’t get more fit or less fit in seven to 10 days,” he said.

Pacquiao is ready to fight

“Ako? Everything is all set and ready for the fight,” he said.


PHILSTAR

Bayless ‘honored’ to work Mayweather-Pacquiao bout (philstar.com) | Updated April 23, 2015 - 3:14pm


Referee Kenny Bayless (left) with Manny Pacquiao in this file photo.

LOS ANGELES – Veteran referee Kenny Bayless is ecstatic to get the assignment of his life.

The 64-year-old Bayless will be part of boxing history after being appointed to work the megabuck showdown between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao on May 2 (May 3 in Manila) in Las Vegas.

He couldn’t be happier to once again be associated with a Pacquiao fight

“Well, it’s been an honor for me to referee Manny Pacquiao. He is a great fighter,” Bayless told ABS-CBN from Las Vegas.

This marks the eighth time Bayless will be working a Pacquiao fight. He was the third man in the ring for the Filipino’s bouts with Erik Morales (second fight), Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, Juan Manuel Marquez (third and fourth fights) and Timothy Bradley (second fight).

READ  MORE...
On the other hand, Bayless has officiated five of Mayweather’s fights, including, interestingly, the undefeated American’s debut against Roberto Apodaca in 1996. He was the referee for Mayweather’s duels with Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley, Saul Alvarez and Marcos Maidana (second fight).

His selection by the Nevada State Athletic Association has been met by positive responses from Pacquiao’s camp.

And Bayless, known for the catchphrase “What I must say, you must obey” which he delivers during pre-fight instructions, is confident in how he handles fights.

“I think the Nevada State Athletic Commission will have a confidence in my work to give me the assignment when Manny Pacquiao fights here,” said Bayless, who is set to earn $25,000 for his services. – Dino Maragay


MANILA BULLETIN

Speed, Power key to victory, says Pacquiao by Nick Giongco April 22, 2015


Manny Pacquiao works out a sweat at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood on Tuesday. (Nick Giongco) Manny Pacquiao works out a sweat at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood on Tuesday. (Nick Giongco)

Los Angeles — Manny Pacquiao moved around the ring at the Wild Card Boxing Club on Tuesday as if he was already standing right in front of Floyd Mayweather.

As he bobbed and weaved, using lightning-quick head and shoulder motion aimed not only to break his defense but also to mess him up, Pacquiao threw single rights and lefts on the strands and corner pads

The punch traveled in a straight line, cutting through the balmy air inside the gym and hitting the target in a snap that left the ropes wiggling, the ring posts shaking and the canvas reverberating.

One thing is crystal-clear: Pacquiao intends to inflict hurt and pain the first chance he gets when they square off on May 2 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao says he has all Mayweather all figured out and the battle plan calls for an all-out war at the onset.

Still, Pacquiao will not go out there looking for a knockout, saying he has to carefully plan his shots to avoid a repeat of his devastating one-punch knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012.

“I will try to win each round by using my quickness, volume punching and (punching) power,” said Pacquiao, a 2-1 underdog but a live one at that.

READ MORE...
But Pacquiao knows it will take more than just those ingredients to deal Mayweather his first defeat in 48 fights.

Mayweather is a consummate competitor and is such an egotistical kind of guy that he will have to go through the grinder to get the job done.

Pacquiao, however, feels the time has come for Mayweather to feel what it’s like getting beat.

“It’s time for him to lose,” he said.

Trainer Freddie Roach is upbeat that Mayweather will meet his match in about ten days time but victory won’t be handed on a silver platter, complete with Mayweather’s head as the centerpiece.

“Manny’s going to win it on points because Mayweather will be coming in at 160 lbs (by fight night) and he’ll be just like the big guys Manny fought and beat,” said Roach.

A few weeks ago, Roach had predicted that Pacquiao would ruin Mayweather and blow him away.

While Roach is singing quite a different tune, the lyrics are just the same.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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