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

A PACMAN-MAYWEATHER FIGHT TICKET SELLS FOR P1.8M
[The purchase was made Tuesday via StubHub, a ticket reseller, for $40,955.25 for the ringside seat. In pesos, that would be about P1.8 million, an amount that could buy a good midsize car in the Philippines].


READY FOR FLOYD (EPA) – Boxing champion Manny Pacquiao greets fans who come to greet him at the Mandalay Bay Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. Tremendous anticipation has been building up for his ‘Fight of the Century’ with Floyd Mayweather Saturday night (Sunday morning, Manila time) at the MGM Hotel in Las Vegas.
April 30, 2015 -  A ticket to the Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather fight has sold for nearly $41,000, a bold testament to how important this Fight of the Century is worth to some people. The purchase was made Tuesday via StubHub, a ticket reseller, for $40,955.25 for the ringside seat. In pesos, that would be about P1.8 million, an amount that could buy a good midsize car in the Philippines. After a series of recriminations from the camps of the fighters, tickets finally went on sale last week. They sold out in less than 60 seconds. With no ticket to buy, the general public has no option but go to the secondary market. Reselling tickets is a legal activity here. Last Friday, according to cbssports.com, the most expensive ticket was listed at $128,705.5. Late Monday night, two tickets were being offered at $397,805.25 each. READ MORE...

ALSO: Pacquiao, Mayweather ready to make history


Boxers Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, and Manny Pacquiao pose for photographers during a press conference Wednesday, April 29, 2015, in Las Vegas. The pair are slated to square off Saturday in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Everything is set for the biggest boxing event in decades. Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather held their final press conference on Wednesday at MGM Grand’s KA Theater and reiterated their preparedness for their welterweight unification showdown on May 2. “I have prepared hard for this fight and I believe Floyd has trained so hard so that we can entertain you on Saturday,” said Pacquiao of the bout that will be held at the Garden Arena of MGM Grand. “It’s now time to fight the biggest fight in boxing and I’m truly blessed to be part of it,” Mayweather said. READ MORE...

ALSO: Low-key Mayweather thanks God for making fight possible


Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. listens during a pre-fight news conference in Las Vegas, Wednesday, April 29, 2015. Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao are scheduled to fight May 2. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
There was hardly any show of disrespect or flamboyance in Floyd Mayweather Jr. as he addressed the media during Wednesday’s press conference for his fight against Manny Pacquiao. In fact, Mayweather took the Pacquiao route in his opening spiel. “First of all, I wanna thank God,” Mayweather said. “God made all of this possible.”  Mayweather and Pacquiao face off on May 2 at MGM Grand here, a welterweight unification bout that is expected to be the highest grossing fight of all time by far. Even Mayweather, who has owned some of the biggest fights, seemed in awe of the interest his showdown with Pacquiao generated. “This has been a truly amazing turnout,” he said.AT PRESS CONFERENCE Floyd Mayweather stood nose to nose with Manny Pacquiao for the first time at Wednesday’s news conference, then said he can’t promise their mega showdown will live up to all the pre-fight hype. “I can’t say,” Mayweather said when asked if the richest fight in boxing history will live up to its blockbuster billing. “Even if we fought at an extremely high pace, it is not for me to judge. My job is to go out and do my best. Just be Floyd Mayweather.”  READ MORE...

ALSO: Ariza former Pacquiao"s now Mayweather's trainer says, Manny overtrained, not a good look


Alex Ariza Shuns Filipino scribes
 As Floyd Mayweather Jr. was doing interviews after his grand arrival at the MGM Grand here Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila), Alex Ariza was quietly sitting a few seats from across the stage. A couple of foreign reporters approached him, and he started chatting with them. But when a Filipino scribe closed in and tried to join the chat, Ariza motioned his hand, as if to stop the reporter, and went back to talking with one of the writers, a veteran boxing columnist writing for a UK-based daily. The STAR/Philstar.com also tried to get an interview with the man who used to be Manny Pacquiao's strength and conditioning coach but got the same treatment as the first Filipino sportswriter. "Hey, sorry man," Ariza said. "No interviews." After working on Pacquiao's conditioning for a few fights, Ariza has transferred to the camp of Floyd Mayweather Jr. for the same job title. He's had a bitter fallout with Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach and was welcomed with open arms by Mayweather. READ MORE...

ALSO: Pacquiao publicist calls super fight 'craziest' he's worked on


Fred Sternuburg, Manny Pacquiao's publicist. Top Rank photo 
Fred Sternburg barely gets eight hours of sleep daily the past few weeks. Manny Pacquiao's publicist said his client's fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. here this weekend has required him to work tirelessly from the day it was announced. "It's the craziest event I've ever been involved with, period. It's the biggest event. It has nothing to compare to," Sternburg, president of Sterburg Communications, told The STAR/Philstar.com. His email inbox, for instance, is being flooded with a ridiculously high number of messages about various requests, from to quote solicitations and daily training updates to assistance on credential applications. And Sternburg, one of the hardest working persons in the boxing industry, tries his best to answer all of them. "It's just so over the top. I average 150 emails an hour from people all over the world. I'm up at crazy hours answering them. But it's great," he added. Practically every media outfit covering the fight wants a piece of Pacquiao and Mayweather. READ MORE...

ALSO: Pacquiao's Army boss sees unanimous decision win


In this March 2015 photo, Armed Forces chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. speaks to the 6th Infantry Division at the headquarters in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao. AFP-PIO 
- Armed Forces chief Gen. Gregorio Catapang Jr. expects boxing icon Manny Pacquiao to win over his undefeated American rival Floyd Mayweather Jr. via a unanimous decision. "The fearless forecast of the Chief of Staff is it will be a unanimous decision," Armed Forces spokesman Brig. Gen. Joselito Kakilala told reporters in an interview Wednesday. "He (Catapang) can see how Mayweather fights. He runs (from his opponents). He will run but he can't hide," he added. Dubbed as "the fight of the century," the Pacquiao-Mayweather welterweight unification fight will be held on Sunday morning, Philippine time at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas, Nevada. READ MORE...

ALSO: Pacquiao eyes Philippine presidency; a savvy politician


'Worst attendance in Congress'
When boxing hero Manny Pacquiao finally calls an end to his historic career in the ring, he will have his eyes on a much bigger prize -- president of the Philippines. The world champion, who will fight American Floyd Mayweather this weekend in boxing's richest fight, has used the fame and wealth generated by his remarkable sporting feats to launch a successful political career. The 36-year-old former street kid is now a second-term congressman, with publicly declared ambitions eventually to conquer one of Asia's most chaotic and corrupt democracies. Pacquiao confirmed his presidential ambitions to AFP in 2013, but has since been coy about his political plans. "Yes," he said then, when asked if he wanted to be president. "(But) it’s far away... it’s God’s will."  In the run-up to the Mayweather bout, Pacquiao's American promoter, Bob Arum, reignited Pac-the-politician talk when he said his client had a strategy laid-out for a presidential run. "He is going to be a president," Arum told paparazzi website TMZ. READ MORE...

ALSO Mayweather: I’m older, wiser, blessed / Pacman excudes confidence


IN typical Floyd Mayweather Jr. style, the undefeated flamboyant champion entered the MGM Grand arena with all the pomp that was expected of him. But Mayweather’s demeanor was a bit different from what he usually does in previous grand arrival events of his fights. The 38-year-old Mayweather was all smiles but at the same time more refined with his movements and in answering every question thrown at him by mediamen who were present. “I made a lot of immature moves. Now I’m older and wiser. I have a strategy to get to this point. I was very flashy, flamboyant, very outspoken but now I am older and wiser and I’m just blessed,” said Mayweather. One question apparently had an intention of trying to rile Mayweather when the American champion was asked about his opinion on why Pacquiao seemed late for the day’s event. READ MORE....


READ FULL MEDIA NEWS REPORT:

Fight ticket sells for P1.8 million


READY FOR FLOYD (EPA) – Boxing champion Manny Pacquiao greets fans who come to greet him at the Mandalay Bay Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. Tremendous anticipation has been building up for his ‘Fight of the Century’ with Floyd Mayweather Saturday night (Sunday morning, Manila time) at the MGM Hotel in Las Vegas.

LAS VEGAS, MAY 2, 2015 (MANILA BULLETIN) by Ding Marcelo April 30, 2015 -  A ticket to the Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather fight has sold for nearly $41,000, a bold testament to how important this Fight of the Century is worth to some people.

The purchase was made Tuesday via StubHub, a ticket reseller, for $40,955.25 for the ringside seat. In pesos, that would be about P1.8 million, an amount that could buy a good midsize car in the Philippines.

After a series of recriminations from the camps of the fighters, tickets finally went on sale last week. They sold out in less than 60 seconds.

With no ticket to buy, the general public has no option but go to the secondary market. Reselling tickets is a legal activity here.

Last Friday, according to cbssports.com, the most expensive ticket was listed at $128,705.5. Late Monday night, two tickets were being offered at $397,805.25 each.

READ  MORE...
But fans who can’t afford to pay these mind-boggling prices can still see both fighters for $10 (P450). That would be on Friday when the two protagonists attend the weigh-in at MGM Grand.

Punches will not be exchanged there, but at least fans will get to see the fighters in the flesh before they go at each other on May 2.

This is the first time tickets are being sold for the weigh-in, usually a staid affair that has no redeeming value unless one fighter fails to make the weight.

But the interest in the fight is so overwhelming that promoters decided that to limit access, fans will have to have a ticket to attend the weigh-in.

Proceeds will go to charity.

Originally, ticket prices range from $1,500 to $7,500, plus a handful of $10,000 for VIPs. None of these became available as only 500 tickets were released to the public and which immediately sold out.

Hotels also jumped on the opportunistic bandwagon. The least expensive room at MGM Grand for the coming weekend is $1,600.

Meanwhile, the fight attracts all kinds of betting.

This city is not a gambling capital for nothing. Bets are made on just about anything under the sun. And, speaking of the sun, will it shine tomorrow? I guess there can be a bet on that, too.

So imagine an event (yes, the Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight is not a boxing match, it is an event) this big and think of the bets that will be made on it.

The bets are not only the simplest one that comes to mind like, who’s your pick to win? Pacquiao or Mayweather.

Of course, there’s a bet on that. But that’s the simplest, easiest and no-brainer bet one can make in Las Vegas about the fight. Another is choosing which fighter wins by knockout. The bigger return, of course, is picking the round that knockout will happen.

But Vegas being Vegas, gambling operators here will think of all sorts of propositions to make you part with your money.

And to the really adventurous, here’s one for them: Which fighter will land the first punch? And if you think that’s absurd enough, they also have a betting line on which hand will land the first punch, left or right?

On both bets, Mayweather is favored by oddsmakers to land the first punch with his right hand in which he is -125 favorite. On the other hand, Pacquiao landing the first punch with his left is +105.

A left hand punch being thrown first is -130 over the right hand at +100.

There’s also a proposition on how many total points Pacquiao and Mayweather will each score on the three referees’ scorecards.

Then there’s the usual bets on predicting which round will end by knockout and separate bets that the fight will not go the full seven rounds, the full eight, and so on, until the 11th.

But even as the preparations have been finished and the stage has been set for this generation’s biggest fight, there are still those who think the fight will not proceed for one reason or another.

Wanna bet?


INQUIRER

Pacquiao, Mayweather ready to make history Francis T. J. Ochoa; Assistant Sports Editor @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 6:05 AM | Thursday, April 30th, 2015


Boxers Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, and Manny Pacquiao pose for photographers during a press conference Wednesday, April 29, 2015, in Las Vegas. The pair are slated to square off Saturday in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

LAS VEGAS–Everything is set for the biggest boxing event in decades.

Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather held their final press conference on Wednesday at MGM Grand’s KA Theater and reiterated their preparedness for their welterweight unification showdown on May 2.

“I have prepared hard for this fight and I believe Floyd has trained so hard so that we can entertain you on Saturday,” said Pacquiao of the bout that will be held at the Garden Arena of MGM Grand.

READ: Pacquiao wants fight with Mayweather to be testament of faith, inspiration

“It’s now time to fight the biggest fight in boxing and I’m truly blessed to be part of it,” Mayweather said.

READ MORE...
“Training camp has been remarkable. My dad has done a tremendous job along with my uncle Roger Mayweather,” added the undefeated American.

Pacquiao is bidding to become the first person to hand Mayweather a professional defeat when the two face off in an event that could gross $400 million.

READ: Pacquiao: Relax, I’m going to beat Floyd Mayweather

“I’m going to do my best to help this fight make history,” said the eight-division champion Pacquiao.

Mayweather, meanwhile, said he is ready for whatever Pacquiao will hit him with.

“I feel good I feel strong,” said the flamboyant star, who kept a low-key demeanor through most of the press conference.

READ: Low-key Mayweather thanks God for making fight possible


INQUIRER

Low-key Mayweather thanks God for making fight possible Francis T. J. Ochoa; Assistant Sports Editor @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 05:41 AM| April 30th, 2015


Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. listens during a pre-fight news conference in Las Vegas, Wednesday, April 29, 2015. Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao are scheduled to fight May 2. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

LAS VEGAS– There was hardly any show of disrespect or flamboyance in Floyd Mayweather Jr. as he addressed the media during Wednesday’s press conference for his fight against Manny Pacquiao.

In fact, Mayweather took the Pacquiao route in his opening spiel.

“First of all, I wanna thank God,” Mayweather said. “God made all of this possible.”

Mayweather and Pacquiao face off on May 2 at MGM Grand here, a welterweight unification bout that is expected to be the highest grossing fight of all time by far.

Even Mayweather, who has owned some of the biggest fights, seemed in awe of the interest his showdown with Pacquiao generated.

“This has been a truly amazing turnout,” he said.

AT PRESS CONFERENCE

Floyd Mayweather stood nose to nose with Manny Pacquiao for the first time at Wednesday’s news conference, then said he can’t promise their mega showdown will live up to all the pre-fight hype.

“I can’t say,” Mayweather said when asked if the richest fight in boxing history will live up to its blockbuster billing.

“Even if we fought at an extremely high pace, it is not for me to judge. My job is to go out and do my best. Just be Floyd Mayweather.”

READ MORE...
Mayweather squares off against Filipino boxing icon Pacquiao in the richest fight in boxing history Saturday at the MGM Grand Hotel that is expected to generate some $400 million in revenue.

Relaxing

Mayweather spoke to a small group of reporters following Wednesday’s news conference which finished with the two future Hall of Famers getting up close and personal for the cameras in a stare down at the front of the brightly-lit stage in the MGM’s Ka Theatre.

Mayweather said weeks of working out, sparring hundreds of rounds and watching film at his Las Vegas gym have prepared him to fight Pacquiao. But he plans to spend the next few days taking his mind off the fight.

“I am going to be watching movies and watching playoff basketball,” Mayweather said. “The only thing I can do now is take it one day at a time.

“I am going to go home and rest. The next time I hear anything about boxing will be at the weigh in.”

World Boxing Council and World Boxing Association welterweight champion Mayweather and World Boxing Organization champ Pacquiao agreed to the fight in February after years of on and off again speculation over whether the two would ever meet.

Unusually quiet

Mayweather has been unusually quiet in the build up to the Pacquiao fight. He says he doesn’t need to resort to trash talk to sell this one.

“From beginning of my career I have always had a game plan. I make calculated moves inside the ring and outside the ring.

“Me speaking out loud and having personality, I did that in the past. I am a lot older and wiser and this fight sells itself. I don’t have to do it.

“Before I would come out and speak in a flamboyant “Money” persona. It was all about entertainment.”

Not good versus evil

Mayweather says he doesn’t want to be portrayed as the bad guy for this fight.

“This fight is not good versus evil. It is one fighter who is at the top and another. I believe in my skills and believe I will be victorious.

“When I went into training camp I worked hard to win this fight and I am sure he did the same.

“I don’t take nothing away Pacquiao. He is going to be an intriguing matchup on Saturday.

“He didn’t get to where he got by not beating tough competition.”

Both fighters are expected to make well over $100 million from the welterweight unification bout with 60 percent of the purse going to Mayweather and Pacquiao collecting the other 40 percent.

‘Money not important’

Mayweather says the money isn’t important because he has everything he wants.

“When you get to this point … once you make so much money, there is nothing you can buy anymore,” he said.

Mayweather dismissed suggestions Wednesday that he would come into the ring Saturday weighing an unofficial 160 pounds (72.57 kg), even after the expected weight gain that will follow the weigh-in for the welterweight limit of 147 pounds (67 kg).

“I have never seen 155 (70.31 kg),” he said. “I just look big because I am working hard. I am the bigger, stronger guy.”


PHILSTAR

Ariza former Pacquiao"s now Mayweather's trainer says, Manny overtrained, not a good look Dino Maragay | Updated Thursday April 30, 2015 - 2:22pm


Alex Ariza shuns Filipino scribes

LAS VEGAS - As Floyd Mayweather Jr. was doing interviews after his grand arrival at the MGM Grand here Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila), Alex Ariza was quietly sitting a few seats from across the stage.

A couple of foreign reporters approached him, and he started chatting with them.

But when a Filipino scribe closed in and tried to join the chat, Ariza motioned his hand, as if to stop the reporter, and went back to talking with one of the writers, a veteran boxing columnist writing for a UK-based daily.

The STAR/Philstar.com also tried to get an interview with the man who used to be Manny Pacquiao's strength and conditioning coach but got the same treatment as the first Filipino sportswriter.

"Hey, sorry man," Ariza said. "No interviews."

After working on Pacquiao's conditioning for a few fights, Ariza has transferred to the camp of Floyd Mayweather Jr. for the same job title. He's had a bitter fallout with Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach and was welcomed with open arms by Mayweather.

READ MORE...
He has now been preparing Mayweather as the latter puts his undefeated record on the line against Pacquiao at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday (Sunday in Manila). And Ariza looks convinced that he has done his job.

Ariza recently told mlive.com's David Mayo his observation of Pacquiao, saying the Filipino icon did much more than he needed to while preparing for weeks against Mayweather at Roach's Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles.

"Overtrained," Ariza told Mayo. "It's not a good look."

He just won't discuss it in detail with Filipino scribes.


PHILSTAR

Pacquiao publicist calls super fight 'craziest' he's worked on Dino Maragay | Updated Thursday April 30, 2015 - 3:11pm 291 1 Google +1 0


Fred Sternuburg, Manny Pacquiao's publicist. Top Rank photo

LAS VEGAS - Fred Sternburg barely gets eight hours of sleep daily the past few weeks.

Manny Pacquiao's publicist said his client's fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. here this weekend has required him to work tirelessly from the day it was announced.

"It's the craziest event I've ever been involved with, period. It's the biggest event. It has nothing to compare to," Sternburg, president of Sterburg Communications, told The STAR/Philstar.com.

His email inbox, for instance, is being flooded with a ridiculously high number of messages about various requests, from to quote solicitations and daily training updates to assistance on credential applications.

And Sternburg, one of the hardest working persons in the boxing industry, tries his best to answer all of them.

"It's just so over the top. I average 150 emails an hour from people all over the world. I'm up at crazy hours answering them. But it's great," he added.

Practically every media outfit covering the fight wants a piece of Pacquiao and Mayweather.

READ MORE...
At Wednesday's final press conference, members of print, broadcast and online outlets patiently lined up to get a quote or two from the Filipino icon, who three days from now will take on his toughest challenge to date.

Pacquiao's fight with Mayweather will evidently go down in history as the richest the sport has ever known. And Sternburg is just thrilled to be part of it.

"I'd hate to be watching the event instead of being a part of it in a small way. And being around Manny is just a lot of fun. And he's handled it like a pro. I mean, this is like any fight for him. I mean I know he knows how important it is but he's handled it well," he said.

But the same, according to the veteran publicist, might not be applicable to his counterparts in the Mayweather camp.

"I can only go by what I am hearing, but it sounds like they're [Mayweather's publicists] taking it rather seriously. So I don't know, the pressure might be getting to him. We'll see," added Sternburg, who started working with Pacquiao in his first fight with Erik Morales in 2005 and has stayed with him ever since.

Sternburg may have one of the toughest jobs in the world right now, at least until after the fight. But he's thriving on it.

"What could be better than this?" he said.


PHILSTAR

Pacquiao's Army boss sees unanimous decision win Alexis Romero | Updated Thursday April 30, 2015 - 4:06pm


In this March 2015 photo, Armed Forces chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr. speaks to the 6th Infantry Division at the headquarters in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao. AFP-PIO

MANILA, Philippines - Armed Forces chief Gen. Gregorio Catapang Jr. expects boxing icon Manny Pacquiao to win over his undefeated American rival Floyd Mayweather Jr. via a unanimous decision.

"The fearless forecast of the Chief of Staff is it will be a unanimous decision," Armed Forces spokesman Brig. Gen. Joselito Kakilala told reporters in an interview Wednesday.

"He (Catapang) can see how Mayweather fights. He runs (from his opponents). He will run but he can't hide," he added.

Dubbed as "the fight of the century," the Pacquiao-Mayweather welterweight unification fight will be held on Sunday morning, Philippine time at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas, Nevada.

READ MORE...
Kakilala said the military would provide free screenings of the fight at the armed forces' gymnasium, wellness center and multi-purpose hall in Camp Aguinaldo. The fight will also be shown at the headquarters of the Army, Air Force and the Navy.

Kakilala said there are also plans to offer free screenings of the boxing match in Central Mindanao, including Maguindanao.

He assured the public that security measures would remain in place during the historic bout.

"Our enemies will also watch the fight. They will leave their firearms behind and go to the cities and watch the fight live. We encourage them to watch that fight. That's a historic fight," the military spokesman said.

"Even criminals are also watching the fight of Pacquiao. There is zero crime during his fights," he added.

Pacquiao is an Army reservist with the rank of lieutenant colonel. He was promoted to reserve lieutenant colonel from senior master sergeant on Sept. 21, 2011.


MANILA STANDARD

Boxing: Pacquiao eyes Philippine presidency; a savvy politician By AFP | Apr. 30, 2015 at 01:11pm  Manila, Philippines | Thursday 4/30/2015 by Joel GUINTO


'Worst attendance in Conogress'

When boxing hero Manny Pacquiao finally calls an end to his historic career in the ring, he will have his eyes on a much bigger prize -- president of the Philippines.

The world champion, who will fight American Floyd Mayweather this weekend in boxing's richest fight, has used the fame and wealth generated by his remarkable sporting feats to launch a successful political career.

The 36-year-old former street kid is now a second-term congressman, with publicly declared ambitions eventually to conquer one of Asia's most chaotic and corrupt democracies.

Pacquiao confirmed his presidential ambitions to AFP in 2013, but has since been coy about his political plans.

"Yes," he said then, when asked if he wanted to be president. "(But) it’s far away... it’s God’s will."

In the run-up to the Mayweather bout, Pacquiao's American promoter, Bob Arum, reignited Pac-the-politician talk when he said his client had a strategy laid-out for a presidential run.

"He is going to be a president," Arum told paparazzi website TMZ.

READ MORE...
"He is going to run for the senate of the Philippines in 2016 and then 2022 or maybe later he'll run for president."

- Poor attendance record -

Although he is almost unanimously adored in the Philippines for his exploits in the ring and widely admired for his sportsmanship, there are doubts about whether he has what it takes to be president.

Pacquiao has the dubious distinction of having the worst attendance record in Congress last year, raising questions as to whether he is truly committed to helping his constituents.

Pacquiao was present in only four of 70 session days in 2014, according to parliament attendance records. They also showed he authored only four bills, none of which passed into law.

"That's what you call a zero record," Ramon Casiple, executive director of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reform, told AFP.

Many also believe Pacquiao, for better or worse, has embraced the bruising, big-spending tactics that are commonly used in the Philippines' ruthless political ring.

"Unfortunately, he is learning the bad side of politics," Casiple said.

Casiple noted that, since losing in his first campaign in 2007, Pacquiao has turned political rivals into allies and paving the way for his own political dynasty.

"He was a good student of traditional politics after he lost," he said.

One of Pacquiao's longtime political mentors is Luis "Chavit" Singson, a self-confessed former gambling lord who leads his own political dynasty and whose politician son was jailed for cocaine possession in Hong Kong.

Former congresswoman Darlene Antonino-Custodio, who gave Pacquiao his first and only political defeat in 2007, said the boxer could be too gullible in terms of whom he decided to choose as allies.

"I like Manny. I think he is a very sincere politician. He just needs to be careful about who he surrounds himself with," she said.

- Savvy politician -

Still, Pacquiao showed in his successful campaign for a congressional seat in 2010 elections that he was a savvy politician.

He used his vast wealth to defeat dynasty patriarch Roy Chiongbian in the poor southern province of Sarangani.

He spent enormous amounts to win favour, giving a mayor a firetruck, building a gymnasium, installing electricity and potable water systems in churches and mosques, and paying for scholarships and funerals.

Then he formed an alliance with the Chiongbians that enabled him to run unopposed for a second term in 2013.

Pacquiao also quickly began laying the groundwork for a political dynasty.

Dynasties are widely blamed for the Philippines' endemic corruption and weak democracy, with families using their power in local fiefdoms to control businesses and perpetuate their rule.

Pacquiao's popularity and influence helped his wife, Jinkee, a political-novice housewife who had only previously worked as a shopping mall beauty consultant, get elected as Sarangani vice-governor in 2010.

At the same time, in his hometown of General Santos, a party mate was elected mayor while two of his brothers and a sister-in-law were also elected village councillors.

But Casiple believes Pacquiao's riches and boxing legend alone will not be enough to propel him to the presidency in 2022, and he has much to learn before then.

"Everyone who thought they could be president based on money and popularity alone lost," he said.

Ateneo de Manila University political science professor Benito Lim also said Pacquiao needed to build a serious political platform if he wanted the public to see him as a presidential timbre.

"He can't rely on just handouts if he wants to be president," Lim said, referring to the big-spending tactics employed in the 2010 local election.

"His money is not enough. He needs a meaningful vision for the country and the public is waiting for that."


MANILA STANDARD

Mayweather: I’m older, wiser, blessed By Dennis Principe | Apr. 30, 2015 at 12:01am

IN typical Floyd Mayweather Jr. style, the undefeated flamboyant champion entered the MGM Grand arena with all the pomp that was expected of him.

But Mayweather’s demeanor was a bit different from what he usually does in previous grand arrival events of his fights.

The 38-year-old Mayweather was all smiles but at the same time more refined with his movements and in answering every question thrown at him by mediamen who were present.

“I made a lot of immature moves. Now I’m older and wiser. I have a strategy to get to this point. I was very flashy, flamboyant, very outspoken but now I am older and wiser and I’m just blessed,” said Mayweather.

One question apparently had an intention of trying to rile Mayweather when the American champion was asked about his opinion on why Pacquiao seemed late for the day’s event.

READ MORE...
Mayweather, however, took the high road in answering the query.

“I can’t speak for Manny Pacquiao why he’s not here. MGM Grand and Showtime and everyone spent a lot of money for this event. It’s all about being professional. I don’t want to do excuses,” said Mayweather.

----------------------------------------------

Pacman excudes confidence By Ronnie Nathanielsz | Apr. 30, 2015 at 12:01am


LAS VEGAS—For Freddie Roach, it no longer matters whether Floyd Mayweather Jr. will run or engage in toe-to-toe fight. Whatever he does, Roach says Manny Pacquiao has the answer. With a happy Pacquiao in prime condition, Roach said he is hardly worried about the outcome of the fighting congressman’s 12-round super fight with Mayweather this Saturday (Sunday in Manila).

EIGHT-DIVISION world champion Manny Pacquiao, cheered on by a huge crowd of supporters at a fan’s rally arranged at the last minute by Top Rank promoter Bob Arum in an obvious protest against the partiality of the MGM Grand towards undefeated pound-for-pound No.1 Floyd Mayweather Jr., exuded confidence in his ability to inflict the first loss of his foe, who has a 47-0 win-loss record.

Veteran sports columnist Jeff Powell of the Daily Mail described Pacquiao as “the happiest soul in Las Vegas.”

“He was smiling, cracking jokes, bidding everyone welcome,” said Powell, in contrast to seeing boxers “with grim expressions and gruff reactions—wearing what they call their fight face—in the last days before going into unarmed combat.”

In a brief address to fans, who had gathered hours before at the Mandalay Bay Resort Hotel and Casino Convention Center, Pacquiao shook hands with scores of supporters.

“It’s not personal for us. It’s personal for the fans. Don’t get nervous on Saturday (Sunday in Manila). I’m the one who’s going to win the fight. So relax. It is time for Mayweather to lose. Just be excited.

I’m excited. Thank you for your overwhelming support and prayers.

I love you guys. God bless,” Pacquiao said.

The screams and applause when he finished was deafening.

Pacquiao later told the media gathered for a conversation with him that this is the most important fight for his boxing legacy.

“But I know I am going to win. We have several strategies for this fight. I’m very comfortable,” said Pacquiao.

He also declined to concede that Mayweather is the most dangerous opponent of his career.

“I haven’t fought him yet. At the moment, it’s Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto and Juan Manuel Marquez. I can say he’s a difficult opponent but I’m comfortable and confident,” Pacquiao explained.

While Mayweather brags about the fact that 47 had tried and failed to defeat him, Pacquiao responded: “I’m different from the 47 opponents he’s fought before. I’m faster than any of them. He will experience his first loss.”

While Mayweather said the fight will happen because it is the right time, Pacquiao himself believes “This is the right time for me to fight Floyd. I’m more experienced now than five years ago. The speed and power are still there. Even people who don’t follow boxing want to watch this fight. When I started in America in 2001, nobody knew who I was. Now a lot of people know Manny Pacquiao.”

Reacting to a Mayweather shop selling t-shirts with a Philippine flag in the background, Pacquiao said he likes it.

“‘Welcome to the Manny team,” Pacquiao told the leader of the Money Team.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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