MORE SPORTS NEWS 4 days before the Fight of the Century
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

'TODAY WE CLAIM VICTORY' PACQUIAO ATTENDS LAST CHURCH SERVICE IN LOS ANGELES


- Believing he has reached physical perfection for the fight of his life this Saturday (Sunday in Manila), Manny Pacquiao made sure he is spiritually nourished as well.
With only six days left before his massive showdown with Floyd Mayweather Jr., Pacquiao again turned to what is perhaps his deadliest weapon in the ring: renewed and stronger faith. The Filipino icon on Sunday (Monday in Manila) attended service as a member of the Shepherd of the Hills Church, his last in this city before departing for Las Vegas the next day as he moves closer to his date with destiny. Pacquiao – clad in an orange jacket that distinguished him from the modest crowd – went to church at the Wadsworth Theatre inside the West LA Veteran's Administration campus with his wife Jinkee and their five children. After the one-hour service, Pastor Mike Johnson called up the entire Pacquiao family onstage for a blessing. Mr. and Mrs. Pacquiao, sons Jemuel and Michael, and daughters Princess and Queen Elizabeth approached the center of stage, their heads bowed. Baby Israel – who turned one the day before – was present as well, calmly staring at the crowd while in his mother’s arms. “Today, we claim victory,” Johnson said as he began his blessing. READ MORE...

ALSO: Fil-Am from NY to sing PHL anthem with pastors in Manny-Floyd fight


Gail Banawis 
LOS ANGELES - Manny Pacquiao's "singing pastors" will have a vocal reinforcement in the form of a 19-year-old Fil-Am singer from New York. Gail Banawis admitted trying out for the glamorous role before but failed to get the part. "I actually auditioned for one of Manny's fights last year, and he considered me," Banawis told Filipino scribes after Pacquiao hosted a lunch for family, friends and media at a Japanese restaurant here. "But the part was given to someone else," she recalled. Now, the good-looking Banawis has gotten her second crack as she is set to sing the Philippine national anthem in Pacquiao's fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. this Saturday (Sunday Manila time) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. READ MORE...

ALSO: Pacquiao a national symbol of hope in Philippines


FROM DOUGHNUTS TO GLORY! – Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao is idolized by tens of millions in the poverty-afflicted Philippines both for his punching power and as a national icon of hope after rising from the streets to the pinnacle of world boxing. Known to his countrymen in the Asian archipelago as “The National Fist”, Pacman fights undefeated American Floyd Mayweather on May 2 to decide who is the world’s best “pound-for-pound” boxer. To most of the Philippines’ population of almost 100 million, Pacquiao, winner of an unparalleled eight world championships in different weight divisions, is a well-loved national symbol, living proof that success is possible with hard work even if you are dirt-poor. The reigning World Boxing Organization welterweight champion was the Philippines’ top taxpayer in 2013, and Fortune pegged him as the world’s 11th best-paid sportsman with 2014 earnings of $41.8 million. He is now also elected member of the House of Representatives, a Christian preacher, an improbable professional basketball player and coach, and celebrity endorser for products ranging from karaoke microphones to pizzas, beer and cars. Friends say the 36-year-old is generous to a fault, sharing his riches with friends as well as the downtrodden. Some Filipinos see him as a future Philippine president, something that he admits he has considered. He will be eligible once he turns 40, when he is expected to have hung up his gloves. READ MORE...

ALSO: Pacquiao’s 100-car convoy rolls out to Las Vegas Tuesday


BEWARE FLOYD This is the look in the eyes of Manny Pacquiao that appears on the front of the bus that members of Pacquiao’s team is using en route to Las Vegas for his fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. The bus is part of a 100-vehicle Pacquiao convoy expected to leave Hollywood for Las Vegas on Monday afternoon (Tuesday in Manila). REM ZAMORA
HOLLYWOOD—This chase for greatness has begun with one final push across state lines. His quest to cement his boxing legacy less than a week away, Manny Pacquiao was to roll out to Las Vegas in style Monday afternoon (Tuesday in Manila) for the final phase of his bid to put a blot on Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s undefeated record in what has been billed as boxing’s most important fight in decades. “He’s 100 percent ready,” his trainer Freddie Roach said after a recent training session. Pacquiao led a large convoy of nearly 100 vehicles in a 435-km trip to Nevada’s gambling haven. There, he and Mayweather will clash on May 2 (May 3 in Manila) at MGM Grand’s Garden Arena to settle the lingering riddle: Who is the best pound-for-pound boxer of this generation? Watch out for the left  Mayweather has said he is “The Best Ever” in the sport’s history. Roach, speaking for the Bible-quoting Pacquiao, swears the Filipino ring icon will destroy the American star’s legacy. “If we catch him with a good left, it’s over,” Roach said. Pacquiao is in the final stages of tapering off for the fight. Roach and conditioning coach Justin Fortune don’t want him to hit peak form until fight night and thus have a lean workout schedule for the eight-division champion. Pacquiao will have light training on Tuesday and Wednesday. He will have Thursday off since his corner is pretty sure he’ll already be within the 147-lb welterweight limit by that time. Supremely high stakes “Friday will be the weigh-in and Saturday will be fight night. That’s about it,” said Roach. READ MORE...

ALSO: Pacquiao arrives in Las Vegas, stays at Delano 


Boxer Manny Pacquiao, of the Philippines, arrives at the Delano Las Vegas hotel Monday, April 27, 2015, in Las Vegas. AP

LAS VEGAS — Filipino ring superstar Manny Pacquiao arrived at Delano just beside Mandalay Bay on Monday night here at the desert boxing capital just five days away from his May 2 megafight with the undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Pacquiao arrived at around 9 p.m. onboard an RV, which is longer than his specially-designed bus, with an “allegiance” marking on the side. The Fighter of the Decade came through the side entrance of the hotel and was welcomed by his supporters.

Before departing from Los Angeles, the WBO welterweight champion did his final training at Wild Card Boxing Club.

“I hope Manny wins. A lot of people here like Manny to win even though Las Vegas is Mayweather’s home,” said a transportation supervisor at the hotel in charge of taking care of the service luxury cars parked at the main entrance.

“I don’t like Mayweather because he’s cocky,” he added.

Pacquiao is confident he will be the first man to beat Mayweather, who boasts a 47-0 record heading into the long-awaited showdown at the nearby MGM Grand Garden Arena along Las Vegas Boulevard.

Team Pacquiao left Hollywood earlier Monday and traveled for about 445 kilometers. Pacquiao’s vehicle spearheaded a convoy of nearly 100 cars and SUVs including the bus.

ALSO SATURDAY SHOWDOWN: Big hype, huge money


Graphic artist and barista Zach Yonzon uses coffee latte milk froth to illustrate depictions of boxing icon Manny Pacquiao (bottom) and American boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. at his cafe in Manila. AFP PHOTO
LAS VEGAS: The countdown is on to Saturday’s showdown (Sunday in the Philippines) between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr., the $400 million “fight of the century” with a place in boxing’s pantheon of greats on the line. More than five years in the making, it’s an epic clash of styles and personalities, pitting the craftsmanship and defensive savvy of “Money” Mayweather against explosive southpaw Pacquiao. The welterweight world title unification bout looks set to smash boxing records for worldwide viewership and revenue, with Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum predicting it could generate as much as $400 million. With a 60-40 purse split in favor of Mayweather, the unbeaten American stands to make an eye-watering $150 million and Pacquiao $100 million. Fanned by instant Internet publicity and social media, global interest in the contest has skyrocketed. The precious 500 tickets for seats at the 16,800-capacity MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas that were put on sale directly to the public at face values ranging from $1,500 to $10,000 sold out in minutes. Promoters are even selling 10,000 tickets to Friday’s weigh-in, at $10 a pop. The audience on fight night will read like a who’s who of A-list celebrities, casino high-rollers and others with the wherewithal to snaffle tickets that are going at secondary sales outlets such as StubHub for as much as $100,000. READ MORE...

ALSO: Pacquiao asks Indonesia president to save Veloso


File photo of Manny Pacquiao. Philstar.com/AJ Bolando
 Despite his busy schedule for the upcoming "fight of the century," Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao took a break to try to save a life from death row. The eight-division champion, “in his own little way,” asked Indonesia President Joko Widodo to grant executive clemency to Mary Jane Veloso, the overseas Filipino worker who is scheduled to be executed on Tuesday in Indonesia. Pacquiao voiced out his message to Widodo in a live television interview of GMA News on Monday. “His excellency Joko Widodo, I am Manny Pacquiao. In behalf of my countrymen, Mary Jane Veloso and the entire Filipino people, I am begging and knocking at your kind heart that your excellency will grant executive clemency to her by sparing her life and saving her from execution,” he said. READ MORE...

ALSO: Aquino to Pacquiao: You’ve done enough for PH, quit, enjoy


LANGKAWI ISLAND, Malaysia—While most Filipinos are concerned about Manny Pacquiao winning over Floyd Mayweather Jr. in their epic boxing bout on May 3, President Aquino said he was more worried about the health of the boxer-turned-politician. “Isn’t it nice (if) you’re the one who’ll say (to Pacquiao), it’s enough? You have earned and saved money. You should be able to enjoy it. Enjoy your family. Enjoy each other,” Aquino said. He added: “(Pacquiao) is entitled, after all his sacrifices and the example that he’s made, to enjoy the fruits of all his hard work and labor.” The President said he had not watched Muhammad Ali fight at the peak of his career but that he was still impressed with the latter’s boxing skills. “And then now you see him in such a condition. Didn’t anyone ever tell him, ‘You’ve done enough?’” he added. President Aquino said he might try to catch the delayed telecast of the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight, “after 10 people (would have) texted me that (Pacquiao) had won.” READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA NEWS REPORT:

‘Today we claim victory’: Pacquiao attends last church service in LA


The Pacquiao family with Pastor Mike Johnson during Sunday's service at the Wadsworth Theatre inside the West LA Veteran's Administration.

LOS ANGELES, APRIL 27, 2015 (PHILSTAR) By Dino Maragay - Believing he has reached physical perfection for the fight of his life this Saturday (Sunday in Manila), Manny Pacquiao made sure he is spiritually nourished as well.

With only six days left before his massive showdown with Floyd Mayweather Jr., Pacquiao again turned to what is perhaps his deadliest weapon in the ring: renewed and stronger faith.

The Filipino icon on Sunday (Monday in Manila) attended service as a member of the Shepherd of the Hills Church, his last in this city before departing for Las Vegas the next day as he moves closer to his date with destiny.

Pacquiao – clad in an orange jacket that distinguished him from the modest crowd – went to church at the Wadsworth Theatre inside the West LA Veteran's Administration campus with his wife Jinkee and their five children.

After the one-hour service, Pastor Mike Johnson called up the entire Pacquiao family onstage for a blessing. Mr. and Mrs. Pacquiao, sons Jemuel and Michael, and daughters Princess and Queen Elizabeth approached the center of stage, their heads bowed.

Baby Israel – who turned one the day before – was present as well, calmly staring at the crowd while in his mother’s arms.

“Today, we claim victory,” Johnson said as he began his blessing.

READ MORE...
Pacquiao’s fellow worshippers pointed their hands at the WBO welterweight champion and his family. The handful of media members who were present saw an opportunity and began taking photos and videos.

For Johnson and Pacquiao’s fellow worshippers, the richest fight in history has yet to happen, but it is clear who will emerge victorious.

“This is a won fight already,” the pastor continued.

Afterwards, the crowd headed outside, hoping to somehow get a glimpse of Pacquiao. Actor Richard Gutierrez and his girlfriend Sarah Lahbati were spotted exiting the building, and the attendees seized the moment to take photos with the couple.

Only a few knew that the Pacquiao family left via a back exit and went straight to their vehicles that would take them to a nearby Japanese restaurant for lunch.

The fight is just around the corner, and Pacquiao is ready both inside and out.

All is well.


PHILSTAR

Fil-Am to sing PHL anthem with pastors in Manny-Floyd fight Dino Maragay | Updated Monday April 27, 2015 - 4:46pm


Gail Banawis

LOS ANGELES - Manny Pacquiao's "singing pastors" will have a vocal reinforcement in the form of a 19-year-old Fil-Am singer from New York.

Gail Banawis admitted trying out for the glamorous role before but failed to get the part.

"I actually auditioned for one of Manny's fights last year, and he considered me," Banawis told Filipino scribes after Pacquiao hosted a lunch for family, friends and media at a Japanese restaurant here.

"But the part was given to someone else," she recalled.

Now, the good-looking Banawis has gotten her second crack as she is set to sing the Philippine national anthem in Pacquiao's fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. this Saturday (Sunday Manila time) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

READ MORE...
She will do it with a group of singing pastors who are closely affiliated with the boxing icon.

Banawis, who has made a name for herself performing in front of Fil-Am communities in New York and New Jersey, said she met Pacquiao through a relative. It was Pacquiao himself who reached out to her and asked her if she could be part of the choir that would sing the "Lupang Hinirang" in the Mayweather fight.

"There's tons of people out there, the actual artists who are willing to do this. So for me to be chosen, it's a blessing," she said.

Banawis may not have exclusivity of the spotlight - unlike previous anthem singers and more recognizable names such Arnel Pineda, Kyla, Charice, Sarah Geronimo, Martin Nievera and Regine Velasquez - but she is ecstatic to be part of history.

The Mayweather-Pacquiao bout is set to go down as the richest and most-watched fight in boxing history, meaning Banawis is in for massive exposure.

But the thought hasn't sunk in yet for her.

"I'm just really grateful," said Banawis.


INQUIRER

Pacquiao a national symbol of hope in Philippines Agence France-Presse 12:32 PM | Monday, April 27th, 2015

MANILA, Philippines – Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao is idolized by tens of millions in the poverty-afflicted Philippines both for his punching power and as a national icon of hope after rising from the streets to the pinnacle of world boxing.

Known to his countrymen in the Asian archipelago as “The National Fist”, Pacman fights undefeated American Floyd Mayweather on May 2 to decide who is the world’s best “pound-for-pound” boxer.

To most of the Philippines’ population of almost 100 million, Pacquiao, winner of an unparalleled eight world championships in different weight divisions, is a well-loved national symbol, living proof that success is possible with hard work even if you are dirt-poor.

The reigning World Boxing Organization welterweight champion was the Philippines’ top taxpayer in 2013, and Fortune pegged him as the world’s 11th best-paid sportsman with 2014 earnings of $41.8 million.

He is now also elected member of the House of Representatives, a Christian preacher, an improbable professional basketball player and coach, and celebrity endorser for products ranging from karaoke microphones to pizzas, beer and cars.

Friends say the 36-year-old is generous to a fault, sharing his riches with friends as well as the downtrodden.

Some Filipinos see him as a future Philippine president, something that he admits he has considered. He will be eligible once he turns 40, when he is expected to have hung up his gloves.

READ MORE...
A 1.70 meter (5ft 7in) southpaw, he began his professional ring career as a teenager, and in 20 years has compiled a 57-5-2 win-loss-draw record with 38 knockouts.

In the ring he is a volume power puncher who uses lightning footwork to create angles with which to deliver flurries, the likes of which have felled Oscar de la Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera.

From doughnuts to glory

The son of a deadbeat father, Pacquiao dropped out of high school at 14, sold doughnuts on the roadside and became a grocery stacker to help his mother support two younger siblings. He became a pro boxer at 17.

The sport bought him fame, power, influence and wealth, and with it the vices: booze, gambling, cockfighting and romantic links to beautiful film stars that at one point nearly wrecked his marriage.

But in 2012 he found religion and he sold his shares in a Manila casino, nightclub and bar, giving away the proceeds to employees. He also gave away his 1,000-plus fighting cocks to friends.

Nowadays he joins Bible-reading classes almost every day, often cites God as the source of his success. He used to wear a rosary around his neck before and after fights.

Despite his riches, Pacquiao remains a humble character with a common touch, complete with a thick accent that is usual with those born in the central and southern Philippines.

Last November Pacquiao announced he had apologized to neighbors and would sell his $9 million mansion in one of Manila’s swankiest areas after they complained about his visitors wearing shabby clothing.

“I may be as rich as some of them here, but my lifestyle remains the same and so is my heart. I am just a simple man. I will never change that,” he said.


INQUIRER

Pacquiao’s 100-car convoy rolls out to Las Vegas Tuesday Francis T.J. Ochoa, Roy Luarca | Philippine Daily Inquirer 1:28 AM | Tuesday, April 28th, 2015


BEWARE FLOYD This is the look in the eyes of Manny Pacquiao that appears on the front of the bus that members of Pacquiao’s team is using en route to Las Vegas for his fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. The bus is part of a 100-vehicle Pacquiao convoy expected to leave Hollywood for Las Vegas on Monday afternoon (Tuesday in Manila). REM ZAMORA

HOLLYWOOD—This chase for greatness has begun with one final push across state lines.

His quest to cement his boxing legacy less than a week away, Manny Pacquiao was to roll out to Las Vegas in style Monday afternoon (Tuesday in Manila) for the final phase of his bid to put a blot on Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s undefeated record in what has been billed as boxing’s most important fight in decades.

“He’s 100 percent ready,” his trainer Freddie Roach said after a recent training session.

Pacquiao led a large convoy of nearly 100 vehicles in a 435-km trip to Nevada’s gambling haven. There, he and Mayweather will clash on May 2 (May 3 in Manila) at MGM Grand’s Garden Arena to settle the lingering riddle: Who is the best pound-for-pound boxer of this generation?

Watch out for the left

Mayweather has said he is “The Best Ever” in the sport’s history. Roach, speaking for the Bible-quoting Pacquiao, swears the Filipino ring icon will destroy the American star’s legacy.

“If we catch him with a good left, it’s over,” Roach said.

Pacquiao is in the final stages of tapering off for the fight. Roach and conditioning coach Justin Fortune don’t want him to hit peak form until fight night and thus have a lean workout schedule for the eight-division champion.

Pacquiao will have light training on Tuesday and Wednesday. He will have Thursday off since his corner is pretty sure he’ll already be within the 147-lb welterweight limit by that time.

Supremely high stakes

“Friday will be the weigh-in and Saturday will be fight night. That’s about it,” said Roach.

READ MORE...
As nonchalant as that may sound, the stakes are supremely high for the two boxers, regarded as the best of their era.

The fight, already the richest in boxing history, is being touted to eclipse some of the classic bouts as far as its importance to the sport is concerned.

Very little has been done, in fact, to promote a fight that people have been clamoring for in the last five years.

“It’s already the biggest fight in the world,” Roach said. “I don’t think that by the time we get to Vegas, there will be people who don’t know there’s a fight happening.”

2-1 odds for Floyd

Pacquiao will carry into Las Vegas a 57-win, 5-loss, 2-draw slate spiked by 38 knockouts. But it is Mayweather’s record that people will be talking about the most.

The Las Vegas-based boxer is 47-0 (26 knockouts) and hopes to finish an illustrious career undefeated, with Pacquiao being groomed as the one man who can thwart those dreams.

“Put him in the ring in front of me and I’ll beat him,” Mayweather vowed in a recent television interview.

The welterweight champion is a 2-1 favorite so far with less than a week before bookmakers close the betting lines in the neon-draped gambling strip.

God and countryman

If the odds hold, Pacquiao will be fighting as an underdog for the first time since welding legend Oscar De La Hoya to his stool in 2008.

Part of Pacquiao’s entourage of vehicles, which will make a traditional stop at nearby Barstow, is the bus that will ferry members of his team and some journalists.

The bus was unveiled Saturday afternoon featuring a menacing Pacquiao on the front and back and another image of him on the sides with the Philippine flag close by.


INQUIRER

Pacquiao arrives in Las Vegas, stays at Delano  Mark Giongco @MGiongcoINQ INQUIRER.net 12:45 PM | Tuesday, April 28th, 2015


Boxer Manny Pacquiao, of the Philippines, arrives at the Delano Las Vegas hotel Monday, April 27, 2015, in Las Vegas. AP

LAS VEGAS — Filipino ring superstar Manny Pacquiao arrived at Delano just beside Mandalay Bay on Monday night here at the desert boxing capital just five days away from his May 2 megafight with the undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Pacquiao arrived at around 9 p.m. onboard an RV, which is longer than his specially-designed bus, with an “allegiance” marking on the side. The Fighter of the Decade came through the side entrance of the hotel and was welcomed by his supporters.

Before departing from Los Angeles, the WBO welterweight champion did his final training at Wild Card Boxing Club.

“I hope Manny wins. A lot of people here like Manny to win even though Las Vegas is Mayweather’s home,” said a transportation supervisor at the hotel in charge of taking care of the service luxury cars parked at the main entrance.


ONE-YEAR OLD ISRAEL PACQUIAO SEEMS AWED BY MEDIA FRENZY

“I don’t like Mayweather because he’s cocky,” he added.

Pacquiao is confident he will be the first man to beat Mayweather, who boasts a 47-0 record heading into the long-awaited showdown at the nearby MGM Grand Garden Arena along Las Vegas Boulevard.

Team Pacquiao left Hollywood earlier Monday and traveled for about 445 kilometers. Pacquiao’s vehicle spearheaded a convoy of nearly 100 cars and SUVs including the bus.


MANILA STANDARD

Big hype, huge money April 27, 2015 11:06 pm


Graphic artist and barista Zach Yonzon uses coffee latte milk froth to illustrate depictions of boxing icon Manny Pacquiao (bottom) and American boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. at his cafe in Manila. AFP PHOTO

LAS VEGAS: The countdown is on to Saturday’s showdown (Sunday in the Philippines) between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr., the $400 million “fight of the century” with a place in boxing’s pantheon of greats on the line.

More than five years in the making, it’s an epic clash of styles and personalities, pitting the craftsmanship and defensive savvy of “Money” Mayweather against explosive southpaw Pacquiao.

The welterweight world title unification bout looks set to smash boxing records for worldwide viewership and revenue, with Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum predicting it could generate as much as $400 million.

With a 60-40 purse split in favor of Mayweather, the unbeaten American stands to make an eye-watering $150 million and Pacquiao $100 million.

Fanned by instant Internet publicity and social media, global interest in the contest has skyrocketed.

The precious 500 tickets for seats at the 16,800-capacity MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas that were put on sale directly to the public at face values ranging from $1,500 to $10,000 sold out in minutes.

Promoters are even selling 10,000 tickets to Friday’s weigh-in, at $10 a pop.

The audience on fight night will read like a who’s who of A-list celebrities, casino high-rollers and others with the wherewithal to snaffle tickets that are going at secondary sales outlets such as StubHub for as much as $100,000.

READ MORE...
The staggering financial figures and celebrity sideshows have only boosted the fight’s cross-over appeal.

The build-up has focused on such minutiae as Mayweather’s custom-made mouth guard, infused with diamonds and gold, and the $2 million-plus Pacquiao will rake in for advertising on his trunks.

Clash of characters But once all that is stripped away, it will be up to the two men in the ring to deliver on the hype, in a duel that many feel has passed its sell-by date.

“The only thing the fighters can do is go out there and perform, and do what we do best,” says Mayweather, who brings an impeccable 47-0 record with 26 knockouts to the bout, along with the World Boxing Council and World Boxing Association welterweight world titles.

Mayweather, trained by his father Floyd Sr. and continuing a family boxing legacy that stretches back for decades, is closing in on the iconic 49-0 record of 1950s legend Rocky Marciano, who retired as an undefeated heavyweight champion.

The American has held 11 titles in five weight divisions, his untarnished record and unabashed swagger making him the highest-paid sportsman in the world, according to Forbes.

Underlining his gift for provocative self-promotion, Mayweather last week compared himself favorably to heavyweight icon Muhammad Ali. “I know there will be a backlash, but I couldn’t care less,” he said.

But beneath the glitzy surface runs a darker Mayweather story, studded by incidents of domestic violence.

It only makes him the perfect foil for Pacquiao, beloved in the Philippines as a humble humanitarian who has put his own womanizing ways behind him with a return to his Christian faith.

A lover of music and basketball, Pacquiao is a two-term congressman who many predict will one day be President of the Philippines.

At 38, Mayweather is two years older than World Boxing Organization champion Pacquiao, who is nevertheless considered the more ring-worn of the two, with his record of 57-5 with two drawn and 38 knockouts.

The only fighter to win eight world titles in as many weight divisions, Pacquiao’s stock plummeted with two defeats in 2012, including a crushing one-punch knockout by Mexico’s Juan Manuel Marquez. There were rumors of impending retirement.

He has since won three fights, although in his last bout, in November, he was unable to finish off Chris Algieri despite knocking him down six times.

Pacquiao hasn’t knocked out an opponent since a TKO of Miguel Cotto in 2009 — the same year he crushed Ricky Hatton in two rounds.

Mayweather’s last knockout win was back in 2011 and he too has showed signs of ring-wear, though that has not stopped him going into the fight as the favorite.

Big, but how big? Even so, the bout tantalizingly brings together two of the most talented fighters of their generation in a clash that recalls such past classics as Joe Frazier’s victory over Ali in 1971, the first fight of their epic trilogy.

“The whole country stopped,” the promoter Arum recalled of the immense interest in that fight at Madison Square Garden.

Whether Pacquiao-Mayweather will surpass Ali-Frazier — or any other “fight of the century” — in lasting significance is immaterial, he said.

“This fight is tremendous,” Arum noted. “The interest is tremendous.

And we should really wrap ourselves around that fact rather than compare it to fights of another era.

“One thing is clear: It’s the biggest fight of this century.” AFP


PHILSTAR

Pacquiao asks Indonesia president to save Veloso By AJ Bolando (philstar.com) | Updated April 27, 2015 - 3:45pm


File photo of Manny Pacquiao. Philstar.com/AJ Bolando

MANILA, Philippines – Despite his busy schedule for the upcoming "fight of the century," Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao took a break to try to save a life from death row.

The eight-division champion, “in his own little way,” asked Indonesia President Joko Widodo to grant executive clemency to Mary Jane Veloso, the overseas Filipino worker who is scheduled to be executed on Tuesday in Indonesia.

Pacquiao voiced out his message to Widodo in a live television interview of GMA News on Monday.

“His excellency Joko Widodo, I am Manny Pacquiao. In behalf of my countrymen, Mary Jane Veloso and the entire Filipino people, I am begging and knocking at your kind heart that your excellency will grant executive clemency to her by sparing her life and saving her from execution,” he said.

READ MORE...
The Sarangani representative added that it will be a “great morale booster” for his fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. on Sunday if Veloso would not be executed.

“On May 2nd I will fight Mayweather which is considered as t he fight of the century. It will be great morale booster if in my own little way I can save a life.”

The 30-year-old Veloso is sentenced to death by firing squad after she was nabbed in 2010 for possession of 2.9 kilograms of heroin.

President Benigno Aquino III and Vice President Jejomar Binay already made their moves to save Veloso, but Indonesia appears firm with its decision.

Even United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also urged the Indonesian government as he believed that death penalty “should only be imposed for the most serious crimes, namely those involving intentional killing, and only with appropriate safeguards.”


INQUIRER

Aquino to Pacquiao: You’ve done enough for PH, quit, enjoy Nikko Dizon @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 5:17 AM | Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

LANGKAWI ISLAND, Malaysia—While most Filipinos are concerned about Manny Pacquiao winning over Floyd Mayweather Jr. in their epic boxing bout on May 3, President Aquino said he was more worried about the health of the boxer-turned-politician.

“Isn’t it nice (if) you’re the one who’ll say (to Pacquiao), it’s enough? You have earned and saved money. You should be able to enjoy it. Enjoy your family. Enjoy each other,” Aquino said.

He added: “(Pacquiao) is entitled, after all his sacrifices and the example that he’s made, to enjoy the fruits of all his hard work and labor.”

The President said he had not watched Muhammad Ali fight at the peak of his career but that he was still impressed with the latter’s boxing skills.

“And then now you see him in such a condition. Didn’t anyone ever tell him, ‘You’ve done enough?’” he added.

President Aquino said he might try to catch the delayed telecast of the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight, “after 10 people (would have) texted me that (Pacquiao) had won.”

READ MORE...
Aquino said his unsolicited advice as a Filipino who admires Pacquiao was: “You’ve done so much. Don’t put yourself (through) unnecessary risks. (Let this May 3 fight) be the crowning glory (of your career).”

“I’m very confident that (Pacquiao) will do our countrymen proud as he has always done. (But) I go back to my perpetual message, which is, continued fighting in the ring does not promote good health,” said the Chief Executive, whose own health has been in constant public scrutiny because of his chain-smoking habit.

Aquino told reporters here he wants Pacquiao to be able to enjoy the fruits of his hard work on the canvass and to have quality time with his family, instead of exposing himself to “unnecessary risks.”

The President said he was thinking of the side effects of boxing, a contact sport that may have led to Parkinson’s disease among some of its players, including boxing legend Muhammad Ali. The ailment has been linked to trauma injuries to the head.

“(Pacquiao) has already done so much for our country and perhaps we should be the ones to show concern for him, instead of brainwashing him until…” the President said, without completing his sentence.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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