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By EDDIE G. ALINEA

 

(Photo from Instagram | @mannypacquiao)

 

MAKATI CITY (PhilAmPress) – Philippine Senator and World Boxing Organization (WBO) reigning welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao is back in Manila from Melbourne where he drummed up his July 2 fight againt Australia’s Jeff Horn.

 

Immediately, Pacquiao announced his readiness to prepare for his coming titular date with Horn at Brisbane’s 55,000-seat Suncorp Arena and vowed to train harder than before, admitting his Australian foe should not be taken for granted.

 

“Everything went well (in the Australian trip). Finally Horn and I met for the first time and it’s now time to prepare for the fight, “ Pacquiao declared after landing at the airport with his party, including wife Jinkee.

 

“Medyo magiging hard and rigid ang training ngayon. Malaki and kalaban at kung totoo ang balitang natanggap natin from members of the Filipino community down Under and the Australians themselves, Horn should not be taken for granted,” Pacquiao stressed.

 

“May kalakihan nga, pero  bahagya lang at walang masyadong magiging advantage,” Pacman’s closed in security Choy  Garcia,  along with assistant trainer Roger “Haplas” Fernandez agreed having been part of the team that went to Australia.

 

“Pero kailangan ding paghandaang mabuti,” Garcia added.   

 

The fighting senator admitted that he is already in the twilight of his career. “Tanggap ko yun. Kaya nga hindi ako dapat matalo sa labang ito,” he stressed. “Paghaahandaan ko ang labang ito nang higit sa paghahandang  ginawa ko sa mga nakaraang laban ko,” Pacquiao said.

 

“I only have a few more fights left in my career at gaya nang dati, wala kong maipangangako kundi ang gagawin ko ang lahat para pasayahin ang fans. Kaya hindi ako papayag na matalo ako dito sa labang ito at sa mga darating pa,” he said.

 

Training will definitely start next week, the reigning 147-pound kingpin assured adding he cannot ascertain yet when he will plunge into action.

 

Since Senate session resumed on Tuesday (May 2), gym work may commence midweek, according to the eight division titlist.

 

“I am still waiting the report on the extent of damage brought about by the earthquake that hit GenSan (General Santos City). Kararating lang kasi namin hatinggabi kagabi, kaya di pa ako nakatatanggap ng report, “ the 38-year-old lawmaker said.

 

“Kung malaki ang naging pinsala at kailangan kong pumunta doon bago magsimula ang ensayo, lilipad tayo,” he said. “Kung minimal lamang naman, siguro the weekend after preparation ako bibisita,” he asserted.

 

 Haplas said his Boss and members  of the training team, including brother Buboy, Nono Neri and himself will meet to decide when Pacquiao’s build up program will commence.

 

“Monday pa ang dating ni Buboy from Bicol kaya noon pa lamang mapag-dedesisyunan ang araw kung kailan kami mag-start.” he said. “Meanwhile, resume na rin ang roadwork bukas (Sunday). “One week kasing di nakatakbo si Boss habang nasa Australia.”     

     

Like Garcia, Haplas dimissed Horn’s  perceived edge in height. “Matangkad lang, pero hindi naman hefty gaya ng report. Para lang si Vargas,” he said referring to the Mexican-American  Jessie Vagas, at whose expense Pacquiao took the title last November.

 

 On February 11, 1990, Buster Douglas, a 42-1 underdog,  knocked out heavily favoured Mike Tyson in the 10th round of their world heavyweight fight in Tokyo to crown himself the new champion.

 

On February 11, 1990, Buster Douglas, a 42-1 underdog,  knocked out heavily favoured Mike Tyson in the 10th round of their world heavyweight fight in Tokyo to crown himself the new champion.   

 

Twenty six years eerlier in 1964, Cassius Clay, (later christened Muhammad Ali), an 8-1 underdog,  knocked out  Sonny Liston in a monumental upset noted more for its historical significance than anything else.  

 

Those were only two of shocking reversals, not only in the sport of sweet science but in other sports a well, that left fans thrilled and excited and will  inspire and motivate the unheralded upstarts to hope to duplicate.

 

Australian no. 2 contender Jeff Horn is no exception. The former schoolteacher, in fact, has been very vocal since his title encounter with titlist Manny Pacquiao  was announced, to exploit the historical facts to the hilt and beat the Filipino World Boxing Organization welterweight  titleholder in  their July 2 date and emerge the new 147-pound champ.

 

To accomplish his goal, the 16-0-1 win-loss-draw record holder with 11 KOs knows too well that he needs more than luck because his 22-year veteran opponent also owns a piece of  history in his 59-6-2 with 38  stoppage impressive resume making Pacquiao an overwhelming favourite. 

 

Overcoming an underdog tag is not new to Paquiao. On the way to becoming the only boxer to win 11 world titles in eight weight divisions, the two-time Philippine Congressman now Senator started his rise to international prominence by crowning himself the International Boxing Federation super-bantamweight  titlist by stopping Lehlo Ledwaba in the sixth round while fighting as a substitute and, therefore, an underdog.  That was in 2001.

 

The 2000 ‘Fighter of the Decade,’ was, likewise, at the losing end of the odds when he overwhelmed Marco Antonio Barrera for the Ring Magazine featherweight plum, Juan Manuel Marquez for the World Boxing Council super-featherweight crown and David Diaz for the WBC lightweight diadem.

 

Ditto when he fought his first 147-pound bout against Olympian and legendary Mexican-American Oscar DeLa Hoya who was heavily favoured  when they met on December 8, 2008 only to quit and retire unable to answer the bell signalling the start of the 8th of the 12-round classic.

 

Having been a victim himself of upset losses, Pacquiao, also popularly known as “Pacman,” the “Pacific Storm” and “Mexicutioner,” among others, said he’s aware of those chances happening in his coming fight.

 

“Na-realize ko na ‘yan noon pang pumayag ako na labanan si Jeff Horn,” Pacquiao said. “Oo nga’t marami akong tinalo bilang underdog, may mga laban din naman ako na natalo as a favourite.”

 

The three-time WBO welterweight belt owner was referring to his first defeat in a young career in 1998, a KO at that, dealt him by Rustico Torrecampo and, three years later, by Thai Medgoen Lukchaopormasak that cost him the WBC flyweight title he won earlier from another, Thai Chatsai Sasakul.

 

“Those twin losses hurt, especially yung kay Medgoen kasi world champion na ako. But those defeats, at the same time, taught me lessons,” he reminisced. “After that, pinangako ko na di na ako dapat matalo, especially sa isang baguhan.”    

    

The Filipino ring great suffered three more setbacks later in his career – to Erik Morales in 2005, Tim Bradley and Marquez, both in 2012. He more than avenged his loss to Morales by knocking him out twice. Same with Bradley, who he outpointed two times later. That loss to Marquez, via KO,  merely brought their four-fight record to 2-1-1 win-loss-draw in his favour. (Eddie G. Alinea/PhilAmPress)

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(Photo from Instagram | @mannypacquiao)

 

PASAY CITY (via PhilAmPress)  — World boxing icon and senator Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao will be fighting Jeff Horn after all.

 

Pacquiao's business manager Eric Pineda confirmed to local reporters on Sunday night, April 10, that the eight-division world boxing champion will stake his WBO welterweight belt against the Australian pug at the Suncorp Stadium in the latter's hometown of Brisbane on July 2.

 

Pineda, who also acts as Mahindra's team manager, even said that Pacquiao has begun his training for the said match but, just like how he prepared for his match against Jessie Vargas, is staying in the Philippines to focus on his senatorial job.

 

"Araw-araw siya nagte-training. Nagsimula na siya. Pag nagsimula na ang session sa May 2, the training will be confined here," continued Pineda, who was present in the Floodbusters' PBA Commissioner's Cup match against the TNT KaTropa at the Mall of Asia Arena.

 

He also said that Coach Freddie Roach will fly in soon to join Pacquiao in training.

 

However, Pineda said that Pacquiao is still open to fight Amir Khan even as soon as the Horn fight is done.

 

"The deal with Abu Dhabi did not push through but maybe for his next fight. Hopefully [Manny will fight Amir] if [the fight negotiation] would push through again and the government of the UAE would still want Manny to fight. We're still working on it, because they really want the fight to happen in UAE," Pineda further said.

 

Heeding with the fans, Pacquiao's camp began negotiations with that of Khan for the said match with both sides even claiming twice that it was already a done deal.

 

But Top Rank head honcho Bob Arum, who has been insisting for the Pacquiao-Horn bout to happen, denied the claims. It was later revealed that the negotiations were stalled due to scheduling problems.

 

Looking forward to the Pacquiao-Horn match, Pineda said, "Hopefully this will be a good fight. Everybody is excited and wants to go to Australia now. It'll be good for everyone."

 

For his fearless forecast, Pineda simply said, "Siyempre Manny will win."

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(Photo from Instagram | @mannypacquiao)

 

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (via PhilAmPress) — The camp of world boxing champion, Senator Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao, has finalized a deal for a welterweight title fight not on April 23 but on May 20 with British brawler Amir Khan in Dubai.

 

The "fighting senator" confirmed on Twitter the fight with his former sparring partner in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

 

Pacquiao, 38, tweeted: "Negotiations between team Pacquiao and team Khan have come to terms for the April 23 bout as this is what the fans wanted. #PacquiaoKhan".

 

Khan, 30, a few minutes later posted on his official Twitter feed: "My team and I have agreed terms with Manny Pacquiao and his team for a super fight #pacquiaokhan #April23rd".

 

The venue for the match has not been named but a source in Pacquiao's office said the bout would be in the United Arab Emirates, possibly Dubai or Abu Dhabi.

 

Khan was the landslide winner in a poll ran by Pacquiao through his Twitter account, wherein the "Pacman" asked his fans who they wanted him to fight next.

 

Neither fighter named a venue for the fight; Pacquiao's adviser, Michael Koncz, said last week that it will be held either in Dubai or Abu Dhabi.

 

Pacquiao's American promoter, Bob Arum, has previously been quoted as saying on the ESPN that "Manny is trying to get a fight done in the United Arab Emirates, and the people there favor him fighting Amir Khan."

 

Spokesmen for the World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Pacquiao could not immediately be contacted for comment.

 

The 38-year-old senator (59-6-2, 38 KOs) currently holds the World Boxing Organization welterweight title.

 

Khan, who is of Pakistani descent, had sparred numerous times with Pacquiao when both were trained by Freddie Roach.

 

Khan (31-4, 19 KOs), 30, last fought in May last year when he was stopped in the sixth round by Canelo Alvarez in a middleweight bout

 

Prior to the confirmation, Pacquiao said he was negotiating for the fight against Khan in UAE.

 

"Mayroon, possible. April din. Still ongoing yung negotiations (There is, possible. It will be in April. The negotiations are still ongoing)," he said of the discussions with Khan's camp.

 

Pacquiao, who was guest of honor in the inauguration, blessing and groundbreaking of several building projects at the Police Regional Office-12 headquarters in Barangay Tambler here, said the initial talks were positive but they have yet to finalize the details.

 

He declined to give any details regarding the negotiations, pending the formal forging of agreements.

 

"Saka na siguro pag nabuo na para hindi ma-frame yung usapan (I'll just reveal the details later if a deal is set so the talks will not be framed)," he said.

 

Pacquiao earlier dashed reports of his scheduled fight on April 22 in Brisbane, Australia with welterweight contender Jeff Horn after confirming that his camp had been negotiating with an unnamed group for a fight in the UAE.

 

He went on to post a question in his Twitter account asking boxing fans whom they would want him to fight next in the UAE.

 

The twitter poll showed Khan as the top favorite, followed by Kell Brook, Terence Crawford and Horn.

 

Michael Bren Evangelio, a Pacquiao aide, confirmed that the senator was supposed to fly late last week to Dubai, UAE for the fight negotiations.

 

But he said Pacquiao cancelled his trip as he wanted some basic details to be ironed out first before going to the UAE..

 

Pacquiao's promoter, Top Rank's Bob Arum, was reported to have told ESPN sports network that he was sceptical about a Khan fight.

 

"Manny seems to believe they will come up with the money. I have some reservations whether it will happen or not," American Arum was quoted as saying on the ESPN website.

 

Arum had been seeking a deal with Duco Events, a New Zealand promotional company he has close ties to, for Pacquiao to defend the 147-pound belt against Australia's Jeff Horn in Brisbane, Australia.

 

"The Australian deal is not going to happen now, because Manny is trying to get a fight done in the United Arab Emirates, and the people there favour him fighting Amir Khan," Arum reportedly said.

 

Since January, Arum had been widely quoted as saying the Filipino would next face Horn in April, although Pacquiao's aides insisted nothing had been confirmed.

 

A business adviser of the Filipino ring icon nicknamed "Pac-man" said this week that his next opponent would "most likely" be Khan in Dubai, but other aides declined to comment.

 

Pacquiao, the WBO welterweight champion, tweeted on February 11: "See you in UAE for my next fight. #TeamPacquiao".

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(Photo from Rappler)

 

CEBU CITY — Donnie Nietes’ search for a third world division title might end up at home if ALA Promotions’ plan pushes through.

 

Nietes, the former World Boxing Organization (WBO) minimum weight and light flyweight champion, is now fighting in the flyweight division.

 

He won his debut against former world champion Edgar Sosa in the US last year in the last edition of Pinoy Pride.

 

Now, he could be headlining the first edition of Pinoy Pride this year in Cebu against Thai Eaktawan Morkrunthepthoburi for the vacant International Boxing Federation (IBF) belt on April 29.

 

"There's a 90 percent chance that the Nietes fight will be in Cebu. We are aiming at April 29 either at the Waterfront Hotel or the Cebu Coliseum,” ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer said.

 

Nietes, 39-1-4 with 22 KOS, has not fought in Cebu since winning his WBO light flyweight title defense over Francisco Rodriguez Jr. at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino on July 11, 2015.

 

He last fought in the Philippines against Raul Garcia last May 28, 2016, in his last defense of his WBO 108-pound belt before vacating it to fight in the flyweight division.

 

Nietes is ranked No. 3 in the IBF while Eaktawan, who is 22-3 with 15 knockouts, is No. 4.

 

The fight was supposed to be held in China or Thailand but ALA Promotions managed to convince the Thai's handlers to have it staged in Cebu.

 

"We still have to iron out some details but it's already 90 percent done," Aldeguer said.

 

Nietes won his first world title, the WBO minimum weight crown, against Thai Pornsawan Porpramook on Sept. 30, 2007.

 

He defended it four times before winning his second world title, the WBO light flyweight crown, against Ramon Garcia Hirales on Oct. 8, 2011, in Bacolod. He won nine title defenses before deciding to move up in weight anew.

 

Should Nietes win a title in a third world division, he will join an elite group of Pinoy boxers who have won at least three world titles, Nonito Donaire Jr. and Manny Pacquiao.

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(Photo from pcoo.gov.ph)

 

PASAY CITY) — Big day for Filipino athletes whose sports excellence will be recognized by the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Annual Awards Night presented by San Miguel and MILO at the Le Pavillon in Pasay City.

 

Weighlifter Hidilyn Diaz, a silver medalist in the Rio De Janeiro Olympics, will receive the time-honored Athlete of the Year award.

 

The 25-year-old Diaz of Zamboanga and elite member of Philippine Air Force (PAF) leads 91 other sports honorees.

 

Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William "Butch" Ramirez and Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Jose "Peping" Cojuangco lead the local sports community in bestowing honor to all the awardees.

 

The 2016 PSA Awards Night Honor Roll List: Athlete of the Year – Hidilyn Diaz; Lifetime Achievement Award – Eugene Torre; President’s Award – Milo Rivera; Executive of the Year – Philip Ella Juico; National Sports Association of the Year – Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa); Mr. Basketball – June Mar Fajardo; Mr. Football – Misagh Bahadoran; Mr. Golf – Miguel Tabuena; Mr. Taekwondo – Jeordan Dominguez; Ms. Volleyball – Mika Reyes.

 

Major Award - Josephine Medina (paralympics), Janelle Mae Frayna (chess), Eric Shauwn Cray (athletics), Marestella Torres-Sunang (athletics), Mary Joy Tabal (marathon), Ian Lariba (table tennis), Kirstie Elaine Alora (taekwondo), Nestor Colonia (weightlifting), Philippine Poomsae Team (Jean Pierre Sabido, Ernesto Guzman Jr., Jeordan Dominguez, Glenn Lava), San Miguel Beer (pro basketball), Jeron Alvin Teng (amateur basketball), Johnriel Casimero (boxing), Yuka Saso (golf), Eduard Folayang (mixed martial arts), Marvin Mangulabnan (superbike), Mark Alvarez (Jockey of the Year), Low Profile (Horse of the Year).

 

Citation - Ernest John Obiena (athletics), Chezka Centeno (billiards), Rogen Ladon (boxing), Charly Suarez (boxing), Marlon Tapales (boxing), Gretchen Abaniel (boxing), Jerwin Ancajas (boxing), Criztian Pitt Laurente (boxing), Ariana Thea Patrice Dormitorio (cycling), Sofia Chabon (golf), Bernice Olivarez-Ilas (golf), Annie Ramirez (jiu-jitsu), Margarita Ochoa (jiu-jitsu), Joseph Myers (jiu-jitsu), Orencio James delos Santos (karate), Jacob Ang (karting), Brandon Michael Vera (mixed martial arts), Kenneth San Andres (motocross), Pauline Louise Lopez (taekwondo), Juvenile Faye Crisostomo (taekwondo), Patrick John Tierro (tennis), Monica Torres (triathlon), August Benedicto (triathlon), Divine Wally (wushu), Arnel Mandal (wushu), Ramon “Tats” Suzara (volleyball), Johnny Tan (motorsports), National University Lady Bulldogs (women’s basketball), National University Pep Squad (cheerdance), Pocari Sweat (volleyball), RC Cola-Army (volleyball), Philippine Dragon Boat Team, Philippine Fencing Team, Philippine Sailing Team, Philippine Sepak Takraw Team, Phillippine Canoe Kayak Federation, United Football League (UFL), Women’s Volleyball League (WVL), Pru Life (football), TV 5, UNTV; Milo Junior Male Athlete of the Year – Adam Bondoc (karatedo); Milo Junior Female Athlete of the Year – Kyla Soguilon (swimming).

 

Philippine’s first chess grandmaster, Eugene Torre will receive the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. Other notable titles to be handed out - President’s Award (Milo Rivera), Executive of the Year (Philip Ella Juico), and National Sports Association of the Year (Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association-PATAFA).

 

Tony Siddayao Award - Ancilla Mari Manzano (gymnastics), Khazart William ‘Khaz’ Romoff (karting), Joan Masangkay (powerlifting), Arielle Pascual (skating), Maurice Sacho Ilustre (swimming), Jerard Dominic Jacinto (swimming), Marc Bryan Dula (swimming), Micaela Jasmine Mojdeh (swimming), Tara Borlain (triathlon), Samantha Borlain (triathlon).

 

Posthumous Award - Carlos “Caloy" Loyzaga, Filomeno “Boy” Codiñera, Virgilio “Baby” Dalupan, Mariano “Tom” Ong, Cecil Hechanova, Ronnie Nathanielsz, Herminigildo “Hermie” Rivera, Jonas Mariano, Gilbert Bulawan, Emy Arcilla, Benjie Castro, Rogie Maglinas.

 

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(Photo from Manny Pacquiao's official Facebook page)

 

PASAY CITY — Senator Manny Pacquiao will be fighting in the United Arab Emirates in April and not in Australia as earlier reported.
  
Pacquiao himself made the confirmation in an interview with GMA network, adding that after the UAE (Dubai or Abu Dhabi) he might fight next in the Philippines.

“Sa UAE yung fight natin by April. Hindi pa talaga fixed yung date, malamang mga third week of April. Hindi pa alam,” Pacquiao said. 

The fighting senator said negotiations were still in progress with the camp of Australian boxer and Olympian Jeff Horn. 

Asked how he is preparing for the fight with Senate sessions still ongoing, Pacquiao said: “Nag-e-exercise ako hanggang ngayon...That’s discipline and time management.” 

Pacquiao's April fight will be in time with the Senate legislative break from March 18 to May 1. 

Pacquiao said he is also proposing to hold a match in the Philippines after his UAE fight. 

“Wino-work out din natin dito sa Pilipinas after that (UAE) para bago matapos yung career sa boxing, meron tayong isang event dito, isang fight dito na ako ang lalaban,” he said as reported by GMA network. 

Pacquiao last fought in November in Las Vegas when he defeated Jessie Vargas with a unanimous decision victory.

It was earlier reported that Pacquiao may yet have three more fights, including one to be held in the Philippines.


This as Pacquiao clarified that his April bout with Australian champion Jeff Horn has not been finalized.
A travel expert said that the senator and world boxing icon should consider holding his next boxing fight in the Philippines as it would provide a bigger tourism impact than the Miss Universe pageant on January 30 at the Mall of Asia Arena.


"If he is really patriotic, he should fight here. This would have a bigger impact than Miss Universe," said Marciano Ragaza, Vice Chairman of the Philippine Travel Agencies Associations (PTAA).

"Whether you like him or don’t like him, he’s an attraction," Ragaza added noting that the boxer-senator has created "some sort of cult following."


Ragaza made this remark after it was reported that Pacquiao is set to fight Australian boxer Jeff Horn on April either in Australia or in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).


Ragaza said that the best place to hold the fight in the Philippines would be in the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena, the same venue for Miss Universe.


Last year, the House of Representatives Committee on Tourism unanimously voted in favor of the motion of Pampanga Rep. Aurelio Gonzales to make Pacquiao  the official endorser of the Department of Tourism (DOT).


Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo said that if the Pacquiao fight in Manila pushes through, it will be a “knockout” win for the Philippines.


Teo said that the tourist arrivals in the country, particularly in Mindanao, could triple with Pacquiao as the face of tourism.


Pacquiao, who hails from Sarangani and General Santos City, has personally expressed his desire to promote tourism being a worldwide boxing icon and politician.


Teo, however, said that all Filipinos should strive to be ambassadors and promote Philippine tourism in their own ways.


Pacquiao said he favors making his last fight in the Philippines. Promoters said that this fight may need at least P3 billion to happen in the Philippines.


It was gathered that Pacquiao's retirement fight could be against his nemesis, Mexico's Juan Manuel Marquez, who knocked him out in their fourth outing.


But that could happen only if Marquez would end his retirement and climb the ring again.


There has been calls also for a rematch with American champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. but the American has ruled out coming out of the retirement to meet Pacquiao again.

 

Reports indicated that Pacquiao may do his other last fights before finally hanging his gloves in Great Britain, Australia and even Russia.

 

This loomed as Pacquiao’s camp have ruled out a fight with American slugger Terence Crawford, the number 2 contender to the Filipino’s world crown.

 

With the development, the fighting senator could fight Australian Jeff Horn in his home town in Brisbane by April 23.

 

Horn, 28, is a former Olympian and now holds the WBO Inter-continental title, the IBF Inter-continental welterweight title, and the WBO Oriental welterweight title, among others.

 

Horn holds a record of 16 withou any loss but with one draw, 11 of which he won by knockout.

Pacquiao, 38, on the other hand, is the current WBO welterweight champion.

 

Horn stands at five feet nine inches (1.79 meter) and weighs at 147 lbs. (66.68 kgs).

 

In an earlier interview with Australian media, Horn insisted that he can beat Pacquiao, the only boxer who held eight titles in as many weight categories.

 

Top Rank’s Bob Arum, who saw last month’s fight of Horn in Auckland against South Africa’s Ali Funeka, has signed a co-promotion deal with Horn’s promoters Duco Events and had floated his intention to bring him to the US early next year to face Jessie Vargas or Timothy Bradley, two other fighters in his Top Rank stable.

 

It was gathered that Horn’s camp itself had initiated talks with Arum, who is Pacquiao’s promoter, to fight the legendary Filipino world champion.

 

It was learned that Pacquiao had demanded a minimum prize money of $20 million in the proposed fight against Crawford and so too with Horn.

 

Horn’s promoter, Dean Lonergan, has been quoted as saying that with proper sponsorships, they could fight Pacquiao.

 

While the $20 million is a substantial amount of money, “we believe that with the right sponsorships we can make Pacquiao-Horn happen in Brisbane and I believe Jeff can beat Pacquiao,”  Lonergan said.

 

If Crawford had agreed, he and Pacquiao would have scheduled their fight in late April, according to Pacquiao adviser Mike Koncz.

 

Meanwhile, Arum revealed he wants Pacquiao to go on a world tour this year with stops in Australia, Russia and England.

 

In a report published in Manila, Arum was quoted to have told Manila Bulletin  that he will host a meeting in Las Vegas with Duco Promotions, which has offices in Auckland (New Zealand) and Melbourne (Australia).

 

New Zealand natives David Higgins and Dean Lonergan of Duco Promotions were hoping to bring Pacquiao to defend his title in against Horn at the 52,000-capacity Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

 

Arum revealed that Russia and England want also Pacquiao to fight in their country.

 

“Russia wants Manny there and England is also interested,” said Arum.

 

“We’ll see if Manny can do three fights this year and that would depend on the Senate schedule,” he said.

 

Arum said one he finalizes plans with Duco Promotions, he will fly to Manila to formalize the deal with Pacquiao.

 

Pacquiao last fought in November against Jessie Vargas in Las Vegas and carved out a unanimous decision against the American fighter. (with Eddie Alinea/PhilAmPress)

 

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 MANILA ― Cavite-born Wesley So is now the third top chess player of the world.

 

But while he is not playing under the banner of the United States, So said he has not renounced his Filipino citizenship.

 

The 23-year-old So said this during a break in his games in the 2017 Tata Steel Chess Masters in Wijk aan Zee, The Netherlands.

 

So explained that he only changed his affiliation -- a transfer of his credentials from the National Chess Federation of the Philippines to the United States Chess Federation — and not his citizenship.

 

The world no.3-ranked So explained his reason for playing for US.

 

“I changed federation for the same reason the Philippines has millions of OFWs (overseas Filipino workers). I was poor and not related to anyone powerful so I had to take my chances elsewhere. Where would I be if I hadn’t left? Ask Hari Das Pascua, who is still waiting for game results from 2016 to be submitted to FIDE,” said So in a Manila Standard report facilitated by former actress Lotis Key-Kabigting.

 

Kabigting, So’s surrogate parent/manager since he officially became part of Team USA in October 2014, said while the Filipino GM never thought of changing citizenship at this time.

 

“Will I change citizenship? That is years away from happening if ever,” added So, through Ms. Kabigting, in a report of Peter Atencio. 

 

So aid he wanted to be part of Team USA when he applied for a change of federation with the NCFP in 2013, in accordance with FIDE statutes after playing for Webster University in college back then.

 

Since NCFP and its incumbent president Prospero Pichay did not act on his application, So availed of a two-year sitout period in order to be part of Team USA.

 

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EES 1441: Australia’s Rene Penalosa and former WSC champ Ed Aparri doing the pitting of the roosters at the 2017 World Slasher Cup at the Versailles Tent in Novotel Manila-Araneta Center with Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental Jennifer Hammon, Binibining Pilipinas Supranational Joanna Eden and Binibining Pilipinas First RunnerUp Angelica AlitaQUEZON CITY ― Close to 400 of the best cockers and gamefowl breeders in the United States, the Philippines and other countries are fighting it out with their roosters in this year’s World Slasher Cup at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City which started on Monday, January 23 and ends on Feb. 1

 

Organized by the Pintakasi of Champions, the 10-day event has American cockers as the biggest contingent with confirmed cockers and aficionados from Kuwait, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Taiwan, making it the biggest edition of the competition so far.

 

Cockfighters from Vietnam and Cambodia and other countries who attended the three-day World Gamefowl Expo at the World Trade Center are also joining the World Slasher Cup.

 

The foreign contingent that has reportedly confirmed to join the World Slasher Cup include Darrel Mack of Texas, and Hall of Famers Mike Formosa of Hawaii and Ray Alexander of Texas, the two being prominent fixtures in the event.

 

Cockfighting enthusiasts from California, Washington, Hawaii and Guam were the latest addition from the United States joining the event.

 

 

EES 1450: Canada’s Richard McCormick and former WSC champ Boy Marzo doing the pitting of the roosters at the 2017 World Slasher Cup at the Versailles Tent in Novotel Manila-Araneta Center with Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental Jennifer Hammon, Binibining Pilipinas Supranational Joanna Eden and Binibining Pilipinas First RunnerUp Angelica Alita

 

World Slasher Cup is touted as the biggest international cockfighting event, known as the Olympics of Cockfighting and, at nearly 60 years at its home, the historic and iconic Smart Araneta Coliseum, is one of the world’s longest running gamefowl spectacle.

 

The World Slasher Cup 2017 is actually a 9-cock invitational derby featuring the best breeders and cockers and the finest winged warriors.

 

The competition begins with 2-cock eliminations on January 23 to January 25.  Qualifiers will then move on to the 3-cock semi-finals set onJanuary 26 to 29.

 

Individual entries with a score of 3.5 or 4 points will compete in the 4-cock pre-finals from January 29 to 31. Undefeated entries with a score of 4.5 or 5 points earn the chance to be named this year’s World Slasher Cup champion at the grand finals on February 1.   

 

Last year’s World Slasher Cup II champion Magno Lim will defend his crown against the elite in cockfighting from America, the Philippines and many other countries.

 

EES 1460: Former WSC champ Congressman Lawrence Wacnang and Golden State, California’s Erik Rosales doing the pitting of the roosters at the 2017 World Slasher Cup at the Versailles Tent in Novotel Manila-Araneta Center with Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental Jennifer Hammon, Binibining Pilipinas Supranational Joanna Eden and Binibining Pilipinas First RunnerUp Angelica Alita

 

Lim declared to Pit Games Magazine that he is ready for another thrilling event to be champion again.

 

“No matter what….I enjoy cockfighting,” the defending champion confessed oozing with confidence with his roosters. “I’ve seen the seemingly impossible happen before my eyes. For instance, just when I begin thinking I’m about to lose my fight, something quickly changes and the referee calls it in my favour.”

 

Lim’s entry under the banner MLG 63, with his teammate Gary Tesorero, won the pot money and the prestige at the 2016 World Slasher Cup II in May last year.

 

Earlier, 2016 World Slasher Cup 1 yielded tie champions, namely, the entries from Blueblade Farms AA, and Phoenix II (the team composed of Mario Villamor, Ed Aparri and Art de Castro).

 

The 2017 World Slasher Cup I is sponsored by Petron, Thunderbird, and B-Meg with partners like the Excellence Poulty and Livestock Specialists, with Pit Games Media Inc. as media partner.

 

For tickets and more information to 2017 World Slasher Cup, call Ticketnet at 911-5555.

 

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(Photo from Manny Pacquiao's official Facebook page | @MannyPacquiao)

 

MANILA (via PhilAmPress) ― If plans do not miscarry, Senator Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao may yet have three more fights, including a supposed farewell bout proposed in the Philippines.
This as Pacquiao clarified that his April bout with Australian champion Jeff Horn has not been finalized.


A travel expert  said that the senator and world boxing icon should consider holding his next boxing fight in the Philippines as it would provide a bigger tourism impact than the Miss Universe pageant on January 30 at the Mall of Asia Arena.


"If he is really patriotic, he should fight here. This would have a bigger impact than Miss Universe," said Marciano Ragaza, Vice Chairman of the Philippine Travel Agencies Associations (PTAA).

"Whether you like him or don’t like him, he’s an attraction," Ragaza added noting that the boxer-senator has created "some sort of cult following."


Ragaza made this remark after it was reported that Pacquiao is set to fight Australian boxer Jeff Horn on April either in Australia or in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).


Ragaza said that the best place to hold the fight in the Philippines would be in the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena, the same venue for Miss Universe.


Last year, the House of Representatives Committee on Tourism unanimously voted in favor of the motion of Pampanga Rep. Aurelio Gonzales to make Pacquiao  the official endorser of the Department of Tourism (DOT).


Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo said that if the Pacquiao fight in Manila pushes through, it will be a “knockout” win for the Philippines.


Teo said that the tourist arrivals in the country, particularly in Mindanao, could triple with Pacquiao as the face of tourism.


Pacquiao, who hails from Sarangani and General Santos City, has personally expressed his desire to promote tourism being a worldwide boxing icon and politician.


Teo, however, said that all Filipinos should strive to be ambassadors and promote Philippine tourism in their own ways.


Pacquiao said he favors making his last fight in the Philippines. Promoters said that this fight may need at least P3 billion to happen in the Philippines.


It was gathered that Pacquiao's retirement fight could be against his nemesis, Mexico's Juan Manuel Marquez, who knocked him out in their fourth outing.


But that could happen only if Marquez would end his retirement and climb the ring again.


There has been calls also for a rematch with American champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. but the American has ruled out coming out of the retirement to meet Pacquiao again.

 

Reports indicated that Pacquiao may do his other last fights before finally hanging his gloves in Great Britain, Australia and even Russia.

 

This loomed as Pacquiao’s camp have ruled out a fight with American slugger Terence Crawford, the number 2 contender to the Filipino’s world crown.

 

With the development, the fighting senator could fight Australian Jeff Horn in his home town in Brisbane by April 23.

 

Horn, 28, is a former Olympian and now holds the WBO Inter-continental title, the IBF Inter-continental welterweight title, and the WBO Oriental welterweight title, among others.

 

Horn holds a record of 16 withou any loss but with one draw, 11 of which he won by knockout.

 

Pacquiao, 38, on the other hand, is the current WBO welterweight champion.

 

Horn stands at five feet nine inches (1.79 meter) and weighs at 147 lbs. (66.68 kgs).

 

In an earlier interview with Australian media, Horn insisted that he can beat Pacquiao, the only boxer who held eight titles in as many weight categories.

 

Top Rank’s Bob Arum, who saw last month’s fight of Horn in Auckland against South Africa’s Ali Funeka, has signed a co-promotion deal with Horn’s promoters Duco Events and had floated his intention to bring him to the US early next year to face Jessie Vargas or Timothy Bradley, two other fighters in his Top Rank stable.

 

It was gathered that Horn’s camp itself had initiated talks with Arum, who is Pacquiao’s promoter, to fight the legendary Filipino world champion.

 

It was learned that Pacquiao had demanded a minimum prize money of $20 million in the proposed fight against Crawford and so too with Horn.

 

Horn’s promoter, Dean Lonergan, has been quoted as saying that with proper sponsorships, they could fight Pacquiao.

 

While the $20 million is a substantial amount of money, “ we believe that with the right sponsorships we can make Pacquiao-Horn happen in Brisbane and I believe Jeff can beat Pacquiao,”  Lonergan said.

 

If Crawford had agreed, he and Pacquiao would have scheduled their fight in late April, according to Pacquiao adviser Mike Koncz.

 

Meanwhile, Arum revealed he wants Pacquiao to go on a world tour this year with stops in Australia, Russia and England.

 

In a report published in Manila, Arum was quoted to have told Manila Bulletin  that he will host a meeting in Las Vegas with Duco Promotions, which has offices in Auckland (New Zealand) and Melbourne (Australia).

 

New Zealand natives David Higgins and Dean Lonergan of Duco Promotions were hoping to bring Pacquiao to defend his title in against Horn at the 52,000-capacity Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

 

Arum revealed that Russia and England want also Pacquiao to fight in their country.

 

“Russia wants Manny there and England is also interested,” said Arum.

 

“We’ll see if Manny can do three fights this year and that would depend on the Senate schedule,” he said.

 

Arum said one he finalizes plans with Duco Promotions, he will fly to Manila to formalize the deal with Pacquiao.

 

Pacquiao last fought in November against Jessie Vargas in Las Vegas and carved out a unanimous decision against the American fighter.

 

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CEBU CITY ― After two failed tries and a disastrous comeback that had him woefully overweight, Milan "El Metodico" Melindo finally captured a world title after beating Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr. by unanimous decision for the interim International Boxing Federation (IBF) world lightflyweight title Saturday night at the Cebu Coliseum in Pinoy Pride 39.

 

Melindo, who lost to Javier Mendoza on May 30, 2015 for the IBF light flyweight belt and to Juan Francisco Estrada for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) version of the belt, withstood the game Thai for 12 rounds, using his counterpunches to earn the points win.

 

Two judges saw a narrow 115-113 win, while the other judge hand it 117-111 for Melindo, who improved to 35-2-0 with 12 KOs.

 

Sakkreerin, who shook his head as the decision was announced, dropped to 31-5-1.

 

"I would like to thank God Almighty first of all and the Aldeguer family for giving me this opportunity," Melindo said.

 

It was the first boxing event in the Cebu Coliseum since AJ Banal's infamous loss to Rafael Concepcion in 2008.

 

The comeback win was validation for ALA Boxing's faith on Melindo, whose last fight in Bacolod City was a disaster.

 

He was supposed to fight Max Flores of Mexico at a catch weight of 110 pounds, but he came almost five pounds over the limit and was forced to give 35 percent of his purse to his foe.

 

That fight could have earned him a shot for Akira Yaegashi's IBF crown.

 

But now that the Cagayan de Oro-born fighter is the interim titlist, a fight with Yaegashi is in the horizon.

 

In the undercard, Albert Pagara's road to redemption started with a tough unanimous decision win over Raymond Commey, 99-91, 99-91, 99-91. Pagara, now 27-1 with 18 KOs, lost to Cesar Juarez in eight rounds in his last fight and wasn't also impressive in his comeback.

 

The crowd let him know it and booed him, while a few praised Commey, who dropped to 16-3.

 

Albert's brother Jason was more impressive, needing only one round to beat Jose Alfaro of Nicaragua to improve to 40-2 with 25 KOs.

 

Jason stalked the Nicaraguan throughout the round before connecting to the body to end the night of the Nicaraguan, who dropped to 28-11-1.

 

Twenty-year-old Jeo Santisima also won via knockout, ending the night of Rex Wao of Baguio City in the fifth to improve to 12-2 with 11 KOs.

 

Wao, who tried to shrug off Santisima's powerful punches, turned his back from Santisima, forcing the referee to end the fight.

 

In the other bouts, Jimmy Paypa (19-3-1) beat Jerry Nardo (21-10, 11KOs) in three rounds; Kevin Jake Cataraja (5-0, 4KOs) stopped John Kenan Villaflor (6-2-2, 2KOs) in the first; Gringo Jakosalem decisioned Fabio Marfa in six rounds and Virgel Vitor stopped Jonathan Francisco in four rounds.

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