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Published in Sports

Fighting congressman readies vs Bradley in April 9 'retirement' fight in Las Vegas 



Special to Philippines Today


FIGHTING CONGRESSMAN Manny Pacquiao: It’s Bradley for final fight. (Photo by Wendell Rupert Alinea)


GENERAL SANTOS CITY/SAN FRANCISCO (via PhilAmPress)  Filipino boxing great Manny Pacquiao is firm on his retirement after his “last fight” against American world champion Timothy Bradley on April 9 at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.


Pacquiao, who earlier expressed the wish to fight undefeated world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a rematch after his defeat from the champion in their first encounter in Las Vegas, stressed his bout against Bradley, their third, will be his final and retirement fight.


The Filipino fighting congressman ruled out a rematch with Mayweather, who equalled the 49-0 record, saying it was wishful thinking, pointing out that the undefeated American champion has already retired and was unlikely to return to the ring.


Bradley is the reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight belt-owner  whom Pacquiao will be facing for the third time in four years on April 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.


Pacquiao, who celebrated his 37th birthday last December 17, intimated in a long distance interview  on New Year's eve from General Santos City where he  spent the Holiday Season with his family, that after his fight against Bradley, he will concentrate on his work as a lawmaker. Pacquiao is now the congressman of the lone district of Sarangani and is running for senator in the May 9, 2016 elections under the ticket of Vice President Jejomar Binay.


Pacquiao, who has a record of 57 fights, 38 of which were won by knockout, six losses and two draws in a professional career spanning more than 20 years, said he was confident of winning a Senate seat in the May elections. Surveys showed that he is in the Magic 12 winning circle.


"I am retiring from boxing to concentrate on my political career. My fight with Timothy Bradley will be my last," Pacquiao stressed in an interview as he dismissed reports that he would not step away from the sport without a rematch with Mayweather.


"I did not say anything like that. Nobody interviewed me about that. I will retire after my April 9 fight," he said.


Pacquiao lost by unanimous decision to Mayweather in what was billed as the “Fight of the Century” and turned out to be the richest boxing bout in history. Pacquiao fought the American with a torn rotator cuff that later required surgery in Los Angeles.


He has won 57 fights, including 38 knockouts, lost six and had two draws in a professional career spanning more than 20 years after being raised in poverty.


Following a shutout victory over Andre Berto last September, Mayweather hang his gloves for for good after tying Rocky Marciano's professional record of 49-0.


 Pacquiao said his team selected Bradley as his next opponent following his loss to Mayweather, saying  the WBO 147-pounds champion, the erstwhile unbeaten American, known as the "Desert Storm," is one of the best welterweights there is in the entire universe. 


Besides, unlike junior welterweight titleholder  Terence "Bud" Crawford, Briton Amir Khan and up-and-coming  Adrien Broner,  Bradley, who beat Pacquiao via a questionable split decision in June 2012, a setback he avenged in an overwhelming unanimous verdict two years later, has already proven his worth as a PPV attraction.


The "Fighter of the Decade" honoree of the Boxing Writers Association of America added Bradley's 9th round stoppage of Brandon Rios last year also did it for the Californian  fighter. Pacquiao only managed a unanimous decision triumph over Rios two years ago. 


"So contrary to what some sectors believe, the choice of Bradley was not based solely on a business standpoint," he explained. "There were many factors our team, headed by promoter Bob Arum, considered."


"And the most important, of course, was what fight can give fans the enjoyment and excitement they expect, which, actually is my primary criteria in choosing an opponent," Pacquiao pointed out.


"Many, indeed, seemed dissatisfied with the choice, but what I can assure everybody is we made that decision having the interest of the boxing public in mind," Pacquiao assured.  


Lucio Tan builds second mall in Guam

Published in Business


AGANA, Guam (PhilAmPress)  Top Filipino businessmen's invasion of the United States territory Guam seems to be no end.


After former Health Secretary Alfredo Bengzon and his Medical City built a $240-million medical center in this Guam capital for Filipino Americans from the island and the US mainland, Taipan Lucio Tan  is now starting to build his second mall here, called the Tumon Bay Mall after its location, the top tourist spot Tumon Bay.

Already, Tan, who controls the Philippine Air Lines and the Philippine National Bank, among others, is operating his first mall in the US territory, called the Micronesia Mall.

In fact, the Lucio Tan group is now also expanding their first mall to add more space for the mall's main tenant, the Macy's department store.

A report from columnist Vic Agustin stated the mall expansion and the construction of a second mall was the conglomerate's preparation for the transfer of some 5,000 US Marines from the American military base in Okinawa island in Japan.

The Tumon Bay Mall,it was learned, was actually an unfinished shopping center and condominium project that the Tan group won in a public auction in December 2010 after its Korean-led investors defaulted.

Guam is a US territory which shares history with the Philippines. Both Guam and the Philippines were first "discovered" by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan under the Spanish flag and colonized for over 300 years by the Spaniards.

As a Spanish colony, Guam was ruled from the Philippines and Mexico and was an important stopover of Manila galleon ships.

Both Guam and the Philippines were ceded by Spain to the United States in 1898 by virtue of the Treaty of Paris.

While the Philippines eventually gained its independence from the US, Guam remained a US territory until today and its residents are considered American nationals and those born here are automatically US citizens.

Being a US territory, Guam continues to have a representative in the US House of Representatives, although the Guam congressman, while they can file bills and resolutions and join in debates, could not vote in the chamber just like the Philippine Represenative when the Philippines was a US Colony for over 50 years.

Due to its shared history, Guam is home to many Filipinos and Filipino Americans. Latest US census showed that the Filipinos and FilAms constitute 26 percent of the territory's population, which is the second biggest group in the island after the native Chamorros who compose 37 percent of the population.

Inter-marriages between Chamorros and Filipinos resulted to the election of officials of Guam like governor and territorial congressmen and senators of Filipino descent.

Bengzon's 130-bed Guam Regional Medical City (GRMC) is the first Filipino-owned hospital in United States (US) territory. It officially opened early last year and Guam officials led the guests during its opening.

Majority owned and operated by The Medical City (TMC), GRMC is the latest addition to TMC’s growing network of hospitals and clinics in Pasig City, Clark Freeport and others, including the malls. Its latest addition is in Dagupan City in Pangasinan, the home province of Bengzon.


More than 600 guests from Guam, across Micronesia and from the Philippines graced the opening of the Medical City hospital in Guam.

TMC president and CEO Alfredo R.A. Bengzon and other members of TMC’s senior management, Guam Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo and Guam Governor Eddie Calvo were  present in the opening ceremony.


In his speech during the hospital opening, Bengzon spoke about the perseverance and faith it took them to overcome obstacles and realize their dream to build the hospital located in Dededo, Guam. He likewise emphasized the commitment it represents to the people of Guam.


“GRMC is a gift of TMC and the Filipino people to the people of Guam. I encourage the residents of Guam to embrace TMC’s service philosophy of Patient Partnership, one that moved the patient from the periphery to center stage, defining for him a role as equal and empowered patient in the pursuit of his health,” he said.


GRMC CEO Margaret Bengzon thanked all the people who worked hard to make the event possible.

“We must now look ahead and we need to get started on the real work, providing quality health care for the people of Guam,” she said.


Bordallo, meanwhile, noted the importance of having a new hospital in Guam, which, according to her, will save both the financial and emotional burden of having to seek off island medical care.


It was in 2010 that TMC announced that it would be part owner and full operator of the first private hospital in Guam. GRMC’s services will be aligned with TMC’s centers of excellence and the Region’s specific health profile, featuring wellness, cardiology, medical oncology, endocrinology, pulmonology, neurology and other medical and surgical subspecialties. (Jo Erlinda G. Nebres/PhilAmPress)

FilAm Donaire to defend title in Araneta Coliseum

Published in Sports

(Photo from GMA News)


MANILA – Filipino American world boxing champion Nonito “Filipino Flash” Donaire Jr. of the San Francisco Bay Area and the Philippines will defend his newly acquired belt at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City on April 23.


This was disclosed by Top Rank boss Bob Arum who also named former featherweight titlist and one-time training stablemate Evgeny Gradovich as the FilAm’s challenger in a report on


 “Our plans for him (Donaire) are to have him next fight at the world famous Araneta Coliseum in the Philippines, which 40 years ago of course hosted the ‘Thrilla in Manila,’ (the third fight) between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier,”  Arum told


The boxing kingmaker said the Araneta Coliseum “has undergone major renovation since then, and Nonito will return there to defend his championship.”


Donaire is 4-0 in fights in the Philippines, and the duel against Gradovich (20-1-1, 9 KOs) will be his third at The Big Dome, it was learned.


Donaire, who is fighting under Top Rank and training at the Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym just like compatriot Manny Pacquiao, is vacationing in the Philippines with his wife and kids after gaining a championship belt with a win over Mexico’s Cesar Juarez in Puerto Rico last December.


 The Filipino Flash, who has a 36-3 record with 23 knockouts, has vowed to defend his title and win more and bigger fights in the future for his fans and countrymen.

Only Donaire and Donnie "Ahas" Nietes are the reigning Filipino world champions in boxing at present.

Donaire, who was edged out by fellow FilAm Brian Viloria for an Olympic slot for the United States team years ago, is vacationing in the Philippines with his wife Rachel and their two sons Jarel and Jarel Logan.

Donaire, who has reconciled with his father Nonito Donaire Sr. who is back as his personal trainer, joined the ABS-CBN thanksgiving breakfast hosted by chairman Gabby Lopez III, new president and CEO Carlo Katigbak and ABS-CBN Sports head Dino Laurena.


Donaire did not rule out a rematch with Cuban Guillermo Rigondeaux adding, “now that I have this (WBO Superbantamweight belt), we can definitely work something out. But I’m not ruling out other fights.”


“We’re really happy for Jun and continue to wish him the best in all his endeavors and future fights. ABS-CBN Sports will always support the Filipino Flash and air his fights for the Filipinos to see,” said ABS-CBN Sports head Dino Laurena.

Prior to defeating Juarez, Donaire was knocked out by Nicholas Walters last year and was thus considered "done" by boxing experts.and could no longer bounce back.

But after two confidence booster fights in March and July respectively, Donaire was back into the world championship stage this December with a win over hard-hitting, world rated Cesar Juarez of Mexico. Donaire was clearly ahead in the early going, even dropping the game Juarez twice in the fourth round. But after hurting his left foot along the bout,Donaire's boxing and movement were reduced significantly, forcing him to let go of the game plan and instead get into a slugfest with Juarez.

Boxing analyst JM Siasat wrote that Donaire dug deep, fought hard and motivated even while looking exhausted in the championship rounds. Donaire's fighting heart carried him to the final bell as he defeated Juarez by unanimous decision to bag the vacant WBO world.

TACLOBAN CITY  The MS Europa 1, an international cruise ship of the Hapag-Lloyd Cruise Company in Europe, made a stopover on Tuesday in Kalanggaman Island, Palompon, Leyte.


This is the second visit of the cruise ship. The first was on April 26, 2013.


The ship made a historic first stop, where a crew member planted a marker at the welcome sign of the island.


Its port call ushers the arrival of tourists in the famed island with powdery white sand and sand bars. It also opened doors for Kalanggaman as cruise destination according to Raoul Bacalla of the office of Mayor Ramon Oñate.


There were close to 400 guests, mostly Europeans that were met by Palompon’s officials led by Vice Mayor Georgina Arevalo, Tourism Officer Cleofe Rivera and Bacalla. The officials noted that the tourists came mostly as family.


The town’s employees feted and welcomed with songs and dances.


Arevalo said that MS Europa’s visit means so much for the locality’s tourism industry. She is grateful that among other destinations in the Philippines, the company chose Kalanggaman.


The island was destroyed by super typhoon Yolanda’s fierce winds that hit the Central Philippines on Nov. 8, 2013.


The beautiful island, with an area of 8—hectares is 45 minutes from the mainland of Palompon.


MS Europa I was the first international cruise ship that brought cruise tourists to the island.


This was followed by MS Breman, MS Europa II among others bringing close to 2,000 tourists to the island in the last two years.


The tourists had the time of their life to eat sumptuous food, kayaking, swimming, frolic in the sand, scuba diving, snorkeling and stand-up paddle boarding.


They also went shopping as the local government of Palompon brought native bags, wallets and other locally produced items.


For their entrance fees and use of kayaks, boats, paddle boards, the group paid nearly P200,000. Not bad for a one-day income, according to Bacalla.


The cruise ship arrived at 6 a.m. on December 29, and left at 7 p.m. on the same day.


After Kalanggaman, MS Europa made a port call at the world-renowned Boracay island also in Visayas.


Kalanggaman, the jewel of the northeast tourism corridor has welcomed 44,000 local and foreign tourists from January to November 2015. (PNA)

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