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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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(Photo from GMA News)

 

GENERAL SANTOS CITY ― Don’t look now but world boxing icon and Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao finally admitted that he is looking forward to a rematch with undefeated world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr.

 

And he said he is excited to fight Mayweather again if the American champion would decide to come out of his retirement.

 

Pacquiao made the disclosure during a talk with media at the opening of a gym in Tokyo, Japan.

 

During the interview, Pacquiao said his next fight would probably be in April or May next year which is timed with the break of the Philippine Senate.

 

In another interview with ABS-CBN, Pacquiao said he felt like a young man in his twenties and would relish another crack at Mayweather.

 

Pacquiao, who turns 38 next month, made a winning comeback from his brief retirement against Mexican American Jessie Vargas in Las Vegas last Nov. 5.

 

Pacquiao said with his win, he believes he is in great shape to try to avenge his defeat to Mayweather last year.

 

“I feel young. I feel like I’m just 25, or that I’m just 28 years old,” Pacquiao told ABS-CBN television.

 

Asked if he wanted to fight Mayweather again, Pacquiao said: “Of course, if he wants to come back (to) boxing”.

 

Mayweather, now 39, beat Pacquiao by unanimous decision in May 2015 and announced his retirement four months later with a 49-0 record.

 

Mayweather agreed to a rematch with Pacquiao weeks after their May fight, but disclosure on the condition of Pacquiao during the fight changed his mind.

 

Pacquiao underwent medical procedure to treat his broken bone in a Los Angeles facility and has since recovered.

 

"I don't know when my career will end," the fighting senator added.

 

"I realized I felt lonely inside because ... I am no longer active in the sport of boxing. I asked myself if I can still fight, and I decided to come back and continue the journey of my career," he said.

 

Top Rank Inc. chief Bob Arum himself admitted that a rematch with Mayweather is still on top of Pacquiao's list.

 

"The question is – is Mayweather going to be available? And obviously (a) Mayweather (match) trumps everything because Pacquiao would like the rematch more than any other fight," Arum said.

 

He said the rematch will only be possible should Mayweather come out of retirement.

 

"I have no particular insider on it. Obviously if Floyd is to unretired, that would be a fight that we will be very interested in making. Manny against Floyd," the veteran promoter continued.

 

Mayweather retired after his victory over Andre Berto last year, a few months following his win over Pacquiao in their duel which was dubbed the Fight of the Century as it broke all records in boxing. Mayweather earned a record $200 million while Pacquiao got over $100 million in that fight which also broke the biggest audience in the ring and outside.

 

Arum said Pacquiao may fight Vasyl Lomachenko or Terence Crawford first  before the Mayweather-Pacquiao rematch.

 

"Both would be exciting. Maybe the Crawford fight would do better because he's an American and it will be easier to sell. Lomachenko will be an intriguing fight to the world," he said.

 

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By EDDIE G. ALINEA
 

(Photo by Wendell Alinea/OSMP)

 

LAS VEGAS/MANILA (PhilAmPress/PhlTodayUSA) ―A rematch between undefeated world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. and world boxing icon Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas could be in the works.

 

This as Pacquiao, now a Philippine senator, admitted that he is open to a rematch if the American champion decides to come out of retirement.

 

Pacquiao, meanwhile, indicated some affinity with Mayweather as he showed in a tweet his coat with an image of him and Mayweather on the left side of his coat.

 

He captioned the Twitpic: "Like my jacket?"

 

The post illicited speculations from his fans on Twitter of a rematch with the undefeated, but already retired American boxing champion.

 

Pacquiao lost to Mayweather in their May 2015 fight, dubbed as the richest match in boxing history.

 

Mayweather was spotted at the ringside during Pacquiao's comeback fight against Jessie Vargas last November 6. Pacquiao won via unanimous decision.

 

There have been rumors of a rematch between the two great fighters, but Mayweather had repeatedly shotdown the idea.

 

Pacquiao had admitted that he invited Mayweather in his Nov. 6 fight against Vargas.

 

The American fighter then said Pacquiao made good in the fight.

 

President Rodrigo Duterte, meanwhile, jokingly raised Pacquiao’s hands and proclaimed as the “next Philippine president.”

 

 Duterte joked about the Filipino ring icon possibly seeking higher office when Senator  Pacquiao called on him in Malacañang.

 

Upon entering Malacañang's Music Room, Duterte raised Pacquiao's hand and quipped, "For President na ito ah."

 

Afterward, Pacquiao handed Duterte a "Fight On" shirt.

________

 

LOS ANGELES (PhilAmPress) ―“Fight On!”

 

These words, in big, bold letters emblazoned on the vest strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune was wearing on the night Manny Pacquiao was crowned anew the World Boxing Organization welterweight champion, represents the significance of the Filipino icon’s title win over then defending belt-owner Jessie Vargas.

 

“Manny’s on a mission and that is to serve humanity by making people happy in the only way he  knows how, through boxing. He’s been like that from the time he won the world flyweight championship 15 years ago. Each time he fought, he would tell us, his happiness is in serving people,” Freddie Roach, the 56-year-old seven-time ‘Trainer of the Year’ recalled. “It has always been a mission he imposed on himself.”   

 

“Of course, that’s besides helping his family extricate from the extreme poverty they were in. And after he had earned enough to secure his and his family’s future, his mind remained focused solely to making people, not only his countrymen, happy,” Roach added.

 

Roach admitted that in the long years he’s been training fighters, he hasn’t seen a boxer like the eight-division champion who finds satisfaction in trading punches with his fellow fighters, to give enjoyment to others.

 

“Manny’s a freak, I tell you, a real freak.” Roach said. “ the reason I love him. He’s a rarity.  He’s a different kind of person,” he said. “That’s why I’m very happy he won that fight coming from retirement.

 

“I knew he needed that so he can continue with his mission. Had he lost, that could have been devastating,” he said. “He had lost many fights in his career. He can lose as many in the future, but not this one, which he wanted very badly so he can pursue further what he wants to do for the rest of his life.”

 

“This, in reality, was the reason he came back to boxing following a self-imposed retirement. He thought he’ll be happy making people happy through government service like the senate,” Roach noted. “He felt sad and lonely staying in Manila all by himself and in the absence of his family.”

 

 Realizing that he cannot make people happy if he himself is not happy, Pacquiao, the trainer surmised, took the chance of returning to the ring while doubling as a member of the Upper Chamber.

 

He did come back and a week after deciding on whom to battle next, Pacquiao was seen on the road in in the mornings of days following, sparring and punching the mitts, the heavy bags and speed balls in the evenings right after attending senate sessions.

 

The sudden change in lifestyle proved too hard and demanding physically and mentally, but having experienced the same hectic schedule while still in the movie and television before, Pacquiao endured the sacrifices and survived through a well-chartered time management.

He even expressed willingness to undergo the same difficult experience two or three more times or for as long as his body would allow before finally retiring for good. 

 

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By JO ERLINDA G. NEBRES

 

(Photo from Instagram | @marieltpadilla)

 

Television host and actress Mariel Rodriguez has given birth in the United States to her first child with action star Robin Padilla.

 

Robin was unable to be besides her wife Mariel, who is a US citizen, when she gave birth to a baby girl on November 14 presumably in Camdale, Delaware since the US Embassy in Manila has denied his application for a US visa.

 

Robin, whose real name is Robinhood Ferdinand Cariño Padilla or Abdulaziz Padilla, has pleaded for reconsideration from the US embassy, but his plea was not acted upon.

 

It was reported that the baby girl will be christened as Isabella.

 

Mariel, 32, a Roman Catholic, and Robin, 46, who now professes Muslim faith, were married on August 19, 2010 at the Taj Mahal in India while doing a movie there.

 

Last September, Mariel, who had suffered two miscarriages, flew to US to receive extra care during her delicate pregnancy.

 

Before giving birth, Robin posted a video showing his conversation with Mariel while she was in labor.

 

In the video, Robin apologized to his wife for not being by her side, according to a television report.

 

Robin has failed to hurdle the US visa requirements after he was convicted for possession of illegal firearms in 1994.

 

Up to the last minute, Robin took to Instagram to follow up his “urgent” appeal to the United States Embassy in Manila for a tourist visa so he could join his wife.

 

“Dear Sir/Madame, Greetings of Peace!!!” he said in a post that came with a clip of a video conference with Mariel, who is seven months pregnant.

 

“I am Mr Robinhood Padilla 46 years old born on the 23rd of November 1969 a Natural born Filipino of spanish ancestry and considered a big tax payer citizen of the Republic of the Philippines. I am writing your good office upon the recommendation of my Employer ABSCBN multi media network in connection with their letter of support and willingness to sign a waiver of guarantee to advance and bring progress to my long plea of Acquiring a Tourist Visa.”

 

The actor said he was honored to be on a waiting list for his visa request but clarified that his situation was getting urgent. He said Mariel, a U.S. citizen whom he called his ‘American wife,” “is giving birth soon and she needs me more than ever [and] vice versa.”

 

Robin concluded: “I pray that your good office will find merit on this latest development regarding my US Visa Application.. God bless America.”

 

Robin also took to Instagram to reveal that Mariel, a U.S. citizen, and her family had voted for newly elected U.S. president Donald Trump despite his controversial positions on many key issues like his strong opposition to birthright citizenship and the deportation of some 11 to 15 illegal immigrants in America, including Filipinos, Edwin P. Sallan reported on Interaksyon.com.

 

“Immigration is never my problem because I am a Filipino by choice so I do not have any plan of embracing another citizenship. My concern is for the good of the collective, World Peace and the END of economic terrorism,” Robin posted.

 

It was also reported that despite Trump’s stance against immigrants, Robin said he believes in the controversial billionaire’s other positions even as he was quite unclear about what he’s trying to say in his ramblings in the same post.

 

“Immigrants are coming to America because of poverty and war in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen etc…Trump promise to work with Russia and that I believe was the purpose of ending the cold war in the 80s. I do not believe Arab and Asian muslims will exchange their Motherland and Fatherland to American democracy, nothing wrong with it actually I love studying it. We just need to respect each other’s culture and tradition. Religion has nothing to do with my political views, my faith is for me alone and travelling and exploring are part of educating myself and my family with World History and Understanding every color and race. GOD BLESS AMERICA!!”

 

Mariel herself revealed that she had indeed voted in the Nov. 8 U.S. elections but did not identify who she had voted for although she dedicated her vote to her unborn daughter.

 

“I will not share who I voted for because I don’t want to start a discussion but yaaaaay this is for you Isabella… everything Mom does is for you!” she said.

 

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By EDDIE G ALINEA and JO ERLINDA MAUFIT

 

Photo by Wendell Alinea/OSMP

 

PARANAQUE CITY (PhilAmPress) Fighting Senator Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao and another Filipino boxing sensation Nonito Donaire Jr. will be fighting together for the first time in the same card on November 5 at the Thomas & Mack Center of the University of Nevada in Las Vegas and Filipinos worldwide are ecstatic about the coming fight.

 

Pacquiao and Donaire are expected in the US by October 22 to continue their training there.

 

This early, retired two-division champion Gerry Peñalosa sees a knockout win by Pacquiao against current WBO world welterweight champion Jessie Vargas even as award-winning trainer Freddie Roach saw big improvement of Pacquiao in training in Paranaque City even while doing his work as a Philippine Senator.

 

Donaire, a Filipino American and long time resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, on the other hand, stepped up his training for his mandatory defense of the WBO junior featherweight title against Jessie Magdaleno, an undefeated but untested southpaw, in the under card of the the Pacquiao vs Jessie Vargas WBO welterweight title fight.

 

Donaire said he was hopeful he will be able to defend his title and defend it well against Magdaleno.

 

Explaining his forecast, Peñalosa said: "This is simple, Vargas is not on the same level as Pacquiao. He's an okay fighter, but nothing compared to Manny Pacquiao who is a legend." 

 

Peñalosa was quoted by GMA News Online as saying further. "Vargas is at a disadvantage when they meet inside the ring. He already lost when it comes to experience, speed and power so I just can't see [how he could beat Pacquiao]."

 

Pacquiao, now 37 years old, has not stopped an opponent since 2009 when he fought Miguel Cotto for the same WBO world welterweight title. Peñalosa, however, said he is convinced that his pal's upcoming bout would end the Filipino ring icon's knockout drought.

 

Vargas will be stopped in the late rounds, Peñalosa predicted.

  

Roach, meanwhile, said that Pacquiao is exhausted from all of his out-of-the-ring activities ahead of his WBO world welterweight title showdown but he has done well.

 

"We'll spar next week then Saturday night (October 22) we get on our plane. We have more days of sparring and he can still improve his performance. He's a little bit tired but those things happen specially when you have two jobs."

 

Team Pacquiao is set to depart to Los Angeles this week to hold his final leg of training camp at Roach's famed Wild Card Boxing Gym.

 

Roach told GMA News that they had sufficient time to get Pacquiao to a hundred percent, citing how his fighter's dedication to the sport had not tarnished at all.

 

"As he gets close to the fight it's the most important thing in the world for him," said Roach. "Boxing is still the best thing he does and he understands that. His focus is 100% on boxing." 

 

Meanwhile, ex-Sarangani Vice Gov. Jinkee, Pacquiao's better half, saw it coming, that her ring icon husband will unretire. 

 

But not as early as barely four months after announcing his decision last April following the eight-division champ's impressive unanimous verdict win over then World Boxing Orgnization welterweight belt owner Timothy Bradley.

 

"Yeah, we were expecting that, myself, our children. We knew, even on the day of the announcement, that it won't be easy for Manny to completely turn his back on the life he grew up with," Jinkee confessed in a conversation with this writer last Thursday when he visited and watched her Fighter of the Decade-husband, with youngest son Israel in tow, trained in preparation for his coming November 5 encounter with current WBO titleholder Jessie Vargas.     

 

"But not that so short a time naman, "Jinkee quipped.  "We were just starting  to enjoy living together without thinking of boxing. And I'm sure ganoon din siya. "Di ba sabi niya noon sa media, let him enjoy the life of retirement?" 

 

"Now, after only four months here he goes again, training for a fight, " she exclaimed. "Before, he used to start training in General Santos bago magtuloy sa U.S. Kaya kahit  papaano nagkakasama kami pag-uwi nya ng bahay. " 

 

"But now, four or five weeks pa before the fight, dito siya nag-train sa Maynila malayo sa amin, sa mga bata, " the former Sarangani Vice Governor remarked. 

 

"Hinahanap na siya ni Baby Israel (the two-year-old youngest of the couple's brood  of five). Kaya sinama ko na siya. The other four (Jimwell, Michael, Princess and Queenie) naiwan kasi may pasok sa school."

 

The two elder boys and the two girls, she added would've been happy joining the visit to their father, but couldn't because of their studies. 

 

Jinkee assured though that she and their children don't have any misgiving for what happened, they're, nevertheless, consoled in the thought that the 'Fighter of the Year' is happy returning to the sport that earned for him the honor and respect of the entire world.

 

"Masaya kaming lahat kapag masaya si Manny. And one of the things that make him happy is that of making people happy. Not only Filipinos but people all over the world," Jinkee narrated. "And Manny finds satisfaction on that in boxing."

 

"As he often told me he has nothing to offer to make people happy but boxing. Sabi pa nya ang atin daw mga kababayan mapasasaya nya in the form of government service which he is doing now. Paano naman daw yung ibang tao sa mundo, the former beauty queen recalled. So, there he is fighting again."              

Also occupying much of her husband's time, according to Jinkee, are his duties as member of the Upper House.  

 

"Instead kasi na makaka-uwi sa GenSan during non-session days and weekends, he has to attend committee hearings and other events in relation to his being a senator. But then, again, love nya ang trabaho sa senado. Wala pa nga daw absent eh. " she said smiling. 

 

"Napalitan na nga yata ng public serevice ang second love nyang sport, ang  basketball," she said.

 

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LUBAO, Pampanga  ̶  Two of the top three golfers today will be in town for a head-to-head clash.

 

The world's number one player, the Filipino-Australian Jason Day and World No. 3 Rory McIlroy will take on each other in a charity match called "Jason vs. Rory: Battle for a Cause" on Nov. 29 at the new Pradera Verde Golf and Country Club in Lubao, Pampanga.

 

The match was announced through a press conference at the Shangri-la at the Fort Hotel.

 

"Our agency, the Creative Artist Agency Sports has direct access to both players' management, so we partnered with them to commit the players to come to the Philippines," said Valerie Floro, the event director of CAAS, the organizer of the golf event.

 

The one-on-one stroke play game is the highlight of a three-day golf showcase where the proceeds will be given to the Alagang Kapatid Foundation.

 

"On Nov. 28, we have a gala dinner and charity auction where we hope to raise funds for the Alagang Kapatid Foundation. 

 

On the third day (Nov. 30), we will have the course ready for amateur players to play the same course as how Jason and Rory did," Floro detailed the other activities lined up for the special event.

 

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