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(Photo from Instagram | @mannypacquiao)


MANILA — Now it can be told that Australian Jeff Horn really won the "Battle of Brisbane" last July 2.

This as the World Boxing Organization (WBO), after review of the fight of Horn with world boxing icon and Philippine Senator Emmanuel "Manny " Pacquiao, affirmed the Australian slugger's victory.


In a statement reported by Agence France Presse, the WBO stated: "Upon the analysis, the findings stated that Pacquiao won the 3rd, the 8th and 9th by 100 percent; the 5th round was won by 80 percent; and the 11th round by 60 percent."


"Horn won the 1st, 6th and 12th rounds by 100 percent; rounds 2, 4, and 7 by 80 percent; and then, the 10th round by 60 percent," WBO stated.


"From the results, it can be established that Pacquiao won five rounds while Horn won seven rounds. Based on this analysis, Jeff Horn was the winner of the bout," WBO concluded in the statement.


There was no immediate response from Senator Pacquiao and Team Pacquiao.


But Top Rank's Bob Arum, in a television interview on GMA, claimed that the WBO review did not settle anything, but showed that the Horn-Pacquiao battle "was a close fight."


"Well it doesn't settle anything. It was a very close fight. It could have been scored either way. I had Manny winning the fight by one point, but you know when it gets that close, the fight can go either way," Arum said on GMA news.


"First of all they didn't [rule] that Jeff Horn clearly won the fight. They (WBO) had five judges scoring the fight: three had Horn winning narrowly, one had it at draw, one had Pacquiao winning," Arum told the network in live interview.


Despite his statements, Arum said Pacquiao should accept the decision and "move on."


"Manny has to decide what he wants to do in the future and we'll take it from there," he said.


Arum said that after two weeks, he may travel to the Philippines to determine from Pacquiao himself if he would want a rematch with Horn.


"I will see whether he really wants to do a rematch, whether he wants to continue boxing, or whether because of his senatorial duty, he is unable to continue," he said.


Arum said he would support any Pacquiao-Horn rematch, especially if Pacquiao decides later to fight Horn again.


Arum said a decision is a decision and all must respect the decision.


Horn's father, Jeff Horn Sr., in another GMA New interview, welcome the WBO review decision made by five judges or boxing experts.


He said that despite the pronouncements of Pacquiao regarding the outcome of the fight, their camp respects the Filipino as a boxer.


"Manny Pacquiao is just a great warrior and we respect him tremendously for what he has achieved in boxing," he said.


He said Pacquiao was a "great warrior" and "respect him" especially for his achievements in boxing.


Horn Sr. said he supports a rematch of his son with Pacquiao, saying Pacquiao is a natural welterweight.


He assured that his son, who is now the wBO welterweight title holder, will be more than 20 percent better for the rematch.


The review was sought by many and supported even by the Philippines' sports agency, the Games and Amusement Board (GAB).

The WBO was triggered by claims by many, including Pacquiao, that the results could have gone the other way or a draw at best .


Horn stunned the Filipino legend—who has won world titles in an unprecedented eight weight divisions—with his ultra-aggressiveness to earn a unanimous 12-round decision.


The WBO—which does not have the power to reverse a decision unless fraud or law violations are proven—set up a panel of five independent judges who were asked to watch the bout without sound and determine who won each round.


The results were tabulated to show clearly the rounds each fighter won using an average scale based on 60, 80 and 100 percent, with three of the five officials needing to be in agreement, AFP reported.


Earlier, the Philippines' Games and Amusements Board (GAB) welcomed the World Boxing Organization (WBO) decision to review the fight.


“It’s good that WBO has acted on our request for review,” said GAB Chairman Abraham Kahlil “Baham” Mitra.

Pacquiao lost his WBO world welterweight title to Horn by a unanimous decision from the three judges -- Waleska Roldan (117-111), Chris Flores (1150-113) and Ramon Cerdan (115-113).


"I assure you that the Officials who participated in this fight are all professional, distinguished, honest and honorable human beings," said Varcarcel.


Valcarcel, however, said that "WBO does not have jurisdiction in the first instance to revoke any decision, as that would correspond to the Australian National Boxing Federation."


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Lead Warriors ace player Steph Curry hoists the 2017 NBA Championship trophy won by his team the Golden State Warriors from the Cleveland Cavaliers.


OAKLAND — Fans and supporters of the National Basketball Association (NBA) 2017 Champion Golden State Warriors were transformed to a sea of humanity when they  flooded the major streets of Oakland City as the city honored the cagers with the team’s victory parade and rally after trouncing the Cleveland Cavaliers.


Under the searing heat of the sun in a glorious day, the estimated crowd of about 500,000 to 1 million men and women, from as young as two months old to those in their 80s, in all forms and shapes of different races and colors packed patiently the parade route and the rally venue at the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center with children playing cards, people dancing to the beat of the music playing while still others ate food and drank water as they await the parade to pass in front of them.


Some celebrities spotted in the parade held on June 12 aside from the Warriors players and front office top officials and staff were City Mayors Ed Lee of San Francisco and Libby Schaaf of Oakland and California State Assemblymember Rob Bonta.


Many Fil-Ams like San Jose executive execuive Anthony Rivero also joined the celebration and parade. 

“I am here to support the Warriors who have something special because they bring the community together whether you are from Oakland, San Jose or from San Francisco as much as they play with teamwork in mind. It is the one key thing we can learn from the Warriors and let my kids here with me learn that perseverance and teamwork wins in the end early on in life,” Rivero shared.



South San Francisco Warriors diehard Maria del Mundo-Ingco (right) spent quality bonding time with daughter Lexy (left) when they watched the championship game the Warriors had with the Cavaliers.


Probably one of the oldest Filipinos in the parade, Sam Mendoza, 74, from Dagupan Pangasinan and Alameda City, still walks five miles a day to keep fit. He came to the celebration with grandsons.


“Kevin Durant was a big help in both offense and defence for the Warriors this year. If he did not transfer, the Warriors may have had a harder time to win. I had no doubt we will win even after the fourth game loss,” Mendoza considered. “If players stay with the Warriors and not transfer to other teams, we may stay champions for a long time.”


South San Francisco Warriors diehard Maria del Mundo-Ingco always had watching Warriors game, either on TV or at the Oracle Arena, as a quality bonding time with daughter Lexy.



A close family friend brought along this poster of Kimberly Nuestro, a ardent fan of Steph Curry and the Warriors who mysteriously died last month during a basketball game in Santa Clara. Dad Ramir is certain that Kimberly is very happy with the Warriors winning the NBA championship.


“Last summer, Durant knew that he may serve as the missing piece to the puzzle after a heartbreaking loss last year. And he definitely is - on and off the court. Our guys have a lot of passion and he brings even more of it. It's so transparent how much he loves the game and he works hard to achieve his goals. He fits in with the team (and the Bay Area) seamlessly; it's just so fun to watch! I really hope he retires with the Warriors, he's an exceptional player,” del Mundo-Ingco noted. “It was just the cherry on top of an amazing season to win the title on our home court. I was there at Oracle that night and it was electric. Seeing my daughter with tears in her eyes when KD was announced as the MVP (who she's been a fan of even when he wasn't on our team) was really special.”


Eugene dela Cruz of Pleasant Hill, who also came with wife Cathy, daughter Angel and a son at the 2015 victory parade, was optimistic that the Warriors will regain the championship this year with eventual Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) Kevin Durant who solidified Warriors’ claim to history.


“Kevin Durant has a huge impact guarding Lebron James, becoming the focal point of the Warriors. He is the go-to-guy and also freed up Curry to do what he had to do. I did not think they will have a repeat lost of the championship just like last year. I expected a good game from the Cavaliers as they were champions too. They are going to come up fighting as what top athletes do,” dela Cruz believes.


Gladys Salenga of Richmond who works at an office in downtown Oakland was somewhat disappointed together with co-workers that they had to do their celebration within their office room looking down at the parade grounds.


“It is each of these hardworking Warrior talents that was the key in becoming the NBA 2017 champs! The 3-0 was a sign to bring out the Broom (sweep) however I loved the fact that the win game was at home. Was that intentional? I don't know but it makes winning much sweeter and special,” Salenga mused.


Speaking for his daughter Kimberly Nuestro, an ardent fan and follower of Steph Curry, dad Ramir Nuestro intimated that Kimberly became more excited when Durant went to Warriors and was sure that the Warriors will be champions again.


“She told me before she died that the Warriors will be 16-0 in the playoffs and the finals. She was also certain that Durant will be the finals MVP. I don't know if is coincidence that Kimberly turned 16 on April 21 and after 16 days she died,” Ramir curiously pointed out on the role of number 16 in Kimberly’s last days. “And on this day of the Warriors victory parade that falls on Kimberly's 40th day, our family thanks the Warriors for winning the championship. My daughter will be so happy right now in heaven, I just wish I could bring her back to life to celebrate the championship with us. Again thanks to Steph for signing my daughter’s shoes.”

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(Photo from Instagram | @mannypacquiao)


GENERAL SANTOS CITY/MANILA — If 2016 is to LeBron James of the NBA champions Cleveland Cavaliers, year 2017 could be to Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors.   


This was the consensus gathered from those who believe the Warriors, with Durant reinforcing the 2016 runners up this time, have what it takes to avenge the setback they suffered a year ago and bring back the much-coveted championship the Cavs deprived them that season.      


World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao,  former senator and local basketball's 'living legend' Robert “Sonny” Jaworski Sr., fellow PBA greats Bogs Adornado, Atoy  Co and Philip Cezar and ex-Philippine Youth Team standout Danny Francisco were one in projecting  that Durant could be the key to Warriors’ title win this season.


“Other than the fact than the Warriors continue to command the biggest Filipino followers of the NBA in the U.S., the addition of Durant represents yet the biggest boost to their winning this year,” Pacquiao told this writer in an interview during a lull in his training.  

Pacquiao, who was among those Spin.Ph and PhilAmPress interviewed in a survey conducted early this week, is currently in deep training for his coming title fight with Jeff Horn of Australia scheduled on July 2 in Brisbane.     


“That is why lalo akong naniniwala  na kayang ibalik ng GSW ang kampeonato ng NBA sa Bay Area. Isang napakalaking tulong ang magagawa ni Durant para sa Warriors. Isa rin siyang dating MVP, so dalawa na sila ni Steph (Curry) na magtutulong) for the Warriors to wi their third championship in three years,” the eight-division titlist reasoned out.   


"Of course, idagdag natin ang milyon-milyong Pilipino, both in  the U.S, at maging dito sa Pilipinas na nagdadasal na manalo ang Warriors,” he  added. "Understandable  naman yun na  maraming Pilipino na lokong-loko sa basketbol ang pinasasasaya ang Warriors kapag nanalo sila.”


Pacquiao has established a closed friendship with Curry who, at one time or another visited him while training at trainer Freddie Roach-owned Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles.


Jaworski, former playing-coach of Ginebra San Miguel in the  PBA, agreed, saying,  “Inspite of the Cav's complete and healthy lineup, I pick GSW to win.  The Warriors have shown their commitment to win by the consistent decorum of team members, from the coaches, players and staff in every game."


"Other than their key players Curry, (Klay) Thompson, (Draymond) Green and, of course, Durant, expect to see their teammates  (Andre) Igodoula, (Dave) West, Shaun Livingston and others to show the exemplary attitude, desire, team pride, mental toughness and philosophy they've been displaying from the elimination round to the playoffs," Jaworski observed.  


Which was exactly what the Warriors just did in the opening game of their best-of-seven championship title series Friday at their home turf Oracle Arena where they routed the Cavs, 119-91, serving notice of what to come next time around.


Barring any major injury to the Warriors, Jaworski, the "Big J," or "Jawo" to fans, believe Golden State will settle the issue in six or seven games.


To which former Crispa teammates Adornado, Co and Cezar, Francisco, fellow former national  player Jimmy Mariano and Zaldy Realubit,  current PBA mainstays Arwind Santos and Ranidel de Ocampo, Rain Or Shine co-owners Raymund Yu and Terry Que and Team MaHindra assistant coach Chris Gavina concurred in


Coach Gavina, for his part, said: “While I feel like Lebron simply played at an unbelievable level last year being on a mission to bringing Cleveland their first championship, I feel that same level of urgency from Kevin Durant this year. I think his  previous past setbacks has ignited his inner fire for greatness.  I say it goes to 7 games with Warriors winning an epic 4-3 series.”


Pacquiao’s chief trainer Freddie Roach and other members of Team Pacquiao Spin.Ph interviwed also expressed belief the Warriors will prevail. They included the champ’s younger brother Bobby Pacquiao, assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez and Jake Joson.       


Incidentally, only five of those interviewed believed James and the Cavaliers will take the measure of the Warriors.


And all of them are members of Team Pacquiao – Mahindra assistant team manager Joe Ramos, Senate staff members Choi Garcia, David Sisson, Carlo Gragasin and Johnny Bantilan. (Eddie G. Alinea/Spin.Ph/PhilAmPress)

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Photos by Wendell Alinea/OSMP


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Photo from Facebook | @MannyPacquiao


PASAY CITY (via PhilAmPress)  World Boxing Organization welterweight crown-holder Manny Pacquiao would have wanted to surprise his Hall of Fame chief trainer Freddie Roach during their first workout Monday by asking for a 12-round session with the mitts.


Roach, the only seven-time Trainer of the Year honoree of the Boxing Writers Association of America, would have normally start with five or, the most, six rounds. He readily acceded though to his ward of 14 years wish though.


And the most successful boxer-trainer tandem in the business went on doing what Pacquiao wished for with Roach simply  saying “good start” after a dozen round of absorbing the title defender’s best shots plus 12 rounds more elsewhere at the Elorde Gym in Pasay City.


All-in-all, the most decorated fighter in the world, completed 24 rounds of sweating it out that day, including the 12 rounds with the heavy bag, double end and speed balls, ropes and shadow boxing.


 A 30-minute stamina-building abdominal exercises under the watch of strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune ended  the day’s routine.


“No, not really,” Pacquiao told ths writer when asked after the relatively two-hour job. “Kilalang kilala na ako ni Freddie para ma-sorpresa ko pa sya. He wasn’t even impressed. Kita naman nyo sa mga mata nya at body language nya.”


Pacquiao said Roach and Fortune’s arrival meant his preparation for his title fight with Australian challenger Jeff Horn has started in earnest. “Tuloy-tuloy na ito, the next seven weeks will be very busy na for all of us,” he pointed out. “Hindi naman ang ibig sabihin ay hind tayo naging seryoso the past two weeks.”


“That’s the reason nga why hindi na na-surprise nor na-impress si Freddie. Kasi alam nya na bago pa lang sya dumating dito sa Maynila ay nakahanda na ako sa anumang training regimen he has prepared for me,” Pacquiao explained. 


Assistant trainers, brothers Buboy and Roger “Haplas” Fernandez, who have been overseeing the preparations since the camp was set up last May 8, agreed.


“The instructions of coach Freddie were very clear when we pitched camp last month. Give Manny the best possible training we could so that pagdating nya, handa na si Manny sa anumang susunod na mabibigat na bahagi ng program,” Buboy disclosed.


“And that’s exactly what we did. At kapag gusto niyang magpahing, binibigyn namin ng rest. Remember, he’s doubling as a public servant, a job na kailangan pagtuunan din ng pansin at malaking oras kaya hindi na kadali mag-juggle nt time,” Pacquiao’s boyhood pal said.


The sparring portion of the build up program was started Saturday last week with locally-ranked  junior-welterweights Leopoldo Doronio and Fil-Indonesian Sonny Katiandagho earning anew the honor of giving Pacquiao the feel of fighting atop the ring until the time when Roach’s choice comes asround.    


 Doronio and Katiandagho, whose father is a long-time Philippine-based Indonesian, did the job, too, last year when the Pambansang Kamao was preparing for the then 147-pound titleholder Jessie Vargas. He joined the confrontation earlier to wrest back the belt he lost to arch-rival Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2015.     

“I did good in my first day of sparring. But I need to push myself hard because I know my opponent is also training very hard,” Pacquiao said after his sparring sessions.


Each sparring session with the two boxers lasted for two rounds. And the two younger boxers were still amazed with the power and speed of the 38-year old Filipino ring icon.


“He is still the boxer that really hard to hit because he’s too fast,” said Doronio.


 “I was hit many times. I expect him to become faster and stronger in the next few days especially on his fifth day of sparring,” added Doronio.


The 24-year old Katiandagho was left impressed after the two-round session.


“At his age, he is faster, wiser and stronger than me. I’m just 24 and he’s over 30 but he has more power and stamina than me,” said Katiandagho. “I did my best to outsmart him but I couldn’t. He is very unpredictable also and he is on a different level.”


After the sparring session, Pacquiao spent three more hours for pad work, speed ball, heavy bag and plyometric to end his training.


Manny’s fine-tuning regimen shifted to high-gear starting Monday with the arrival of chief trainer Freddie Roach, the man who guided him from an obscure junior-flyweight campaigner to a world champion in eight weight divisions.  


Roach flew in from Los Angeles last Sunday morning and promptly took over running  the fighting Senator’s training for his title fight with Australian contender Jeff Horn on July 2 in Brisbane, Australia.


Roach came in with strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune in tow at a time when the defending World Boxing Organization welterweight belt-owner had completed his initial two weeks of light preparations that started last May 8.


Pacquiao, now 38 and the nine-year his junior former schoolteacher crown  pretender Jeff Horn trade punches on July  2 at the 55,000 Suncorp Arena at the Queensland capital city of Brisbane in a fight billed as the biggest boxing event Down Under.


 Pacquiao and the Hall of Fame trainer will be celebrating his and Pacquiao’s successful 16-year trainer-boxer relationship on June 23, a little over a week before the Pacquiao-Horn 12-round scrap.


It was on June 23, 2001 when Pacquiao, the former two-time Sarangani congressman first fought in the United States under the tutelage of Roach as a substitute challenger against South African Lehlo Ledwaba whom he forced to surrender after six rounds to win the International Boxing Federation super-bantamweight championship, his second following his reign as Wold Boxing Council flyweight titlist.


“Okay na, ready na si Manny to go into the tougher stage of preparations,” Buboy said as he and Haplas prepared for their boyhood friend’s  training session y at the Elorde Gym at the Mall of Asia compound in Pasay City.


“With the rust brought about by six months of ring inactivity gone and a little of his speed and punching power recovered, we can now move towards the more rigid phase of the program,” Buboy disclosed.


“Ibig sabihin, simula sa Lunes, we will be concentrating on improving the gains we have achieved the past two weeks in  terms of conditioning, ad ringmanship,” Buboy stressed.


Buboy said after next week, as the Senate goes into recess, the frequency will be harder and longer until the team leaves for Brisbane probably two weeks before the bout.


“With coach Freddie here, tigil na muna ang basketball, pagpupuyat at pag-attend sa kung ano-anong  social functions, “ he added. “Except, of course, those in relation with his duties as a senator.” (Eddie G. Alinea/PhilAmPress)    

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Photo from Philippine Daily Inquirer


TOKYO — Filipino boxer Milan Melindo finally got a world championship belt after three attempts, becoming the fourth Filipino current world boxing title holder.


In his third attempt last week, Melindo knocked out defending regular IBF light flyweight world champion Akira Yaegashi in just one round last Sunday at the Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo, Japan to get the world title. 


Melindo, who came into the fight as the interim IBF 108-pound champion,  dropped Yaegashi twice in the first round before landing a vicious 1-2 combination that sent the hometown boy down to the mat for a third time. 


Yaegashi could barely sit back up as the referee waved off the fight at the 2:45 mark of round one.


Melindo, 29, fought for a world title two times earlier, falling short both times. 


Last November, Melindo earned the right to challenge Yaegashi after defeating Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr. to claim the interim belt. 


Melindo (36-2, 13 KO) joins Jerwin Ancajas (IBF junior bantamweight), ALA Boxing teammate Donnie Nietes (IBF flyweight), and Manny Pacquiao (WBO welterweight) as the only current Filipino boxing world champions.

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(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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