Chasing Manny Pacquiao
By Izah Morales
Yahoo! Southeast Asia
Everybody wants a piece of the pound-for-pound king turned Sarangani Representative Manny Pacquiao.
He never fails to attract an audience wherever he goes– be it at the airport, in the boxing gym, in his province, or now at the House of Representatives.
Amid his busy schedule and status as one of the greatest boxers in the world, having won seven world boxing titles, he remains rooted and ready to entertain fans for a quick photo or an autograph.
Interviewing Pacquiao entails patience. It means waiting for hours, days or even months to secure a sit-down interview.
Yahoo! Southeast Asia team has been chasing Pacquiao in March when he attended the Elorde Memorial Awards. It was again the same experience when the team hounded him in his Sarangani campaign sortie in May.
The team also followed him during his classes and graduation at the Development Academy of the Philippines in June where he had a crash course on public administration.
This week, the team attended his training sessions at the Elorde Boxing gym in Roosevelt Avenue, Quezon City.
After finally winning a political battle, the People’s Champ is back in the ring to prepare for his eight world title match against Mexican boxer Antonio Margarito slated on November 13.
Typically, Pacquiao’s training starts at 1 p.m. But due to unforeseen events (like a heavy rain and traffic), he was late when Yahoo! Southeast Asia visited his training . Even his multi-titled coach Freddie Roach and his conditioning coach Alex Ariza had to wait for him.
Pacquiao will be training at the Elorde Boxing Gym until Septempter 25 before he moves to Baguio City on September 26) for a closed-camp training.
Pacquiao’s devotion to boxing is intense as his devotion to his religion. He’s often seen making the sign of the cross every time he enters the ring. Indeed, his faith in God runs deep. As he kneels down to pray at the corner of the ring, his long-time best friend Buboy Fernandez would ask the crowd, “Kaunting katahimikan lang po [Silence please].” Pacquiao prays.
During his training, Roach fell as he absorbed his punches. Wearing a protective body gear, Roach admits he often feels Pacquiao’s power. “It was my first time to fall,” Roach confesses to Yahoo! Southeast Asia, adding, “He’s really getting stronger every day. He will knock out Margarito.”
Roach described Margarito as a tough guy. But he said Margarito’s boxing skills are not good enough for Pacquiao.
“It will be a good fight for Manny. He will try really hard to come forward. He’s big and strong but we’re faster and stronger,” said Roach.
Pacquiao needs 7,000 calories a day to achieve that weight.
“What we try to do is we try to go to the basic protein groups that I feel are necessary and we would get that out of the food. In addition to, we’ll have about four supplements throughout the day and the evening to maintain the calorie intake,” said Ariza.
After the four-hour training, the boxing champ who came out of the locker room wearing a neatly pressed white polo finally sat down with Yahoo! Southeast Asia to answer some questions.
Yahoo! Southeast Asia: What was your impression of Antonio Margarito when you first met?
Manny: ‘Yung unang pagkikita namin, mabait naman siya. ‘Di kagaya ng iba na bastos! [Not like others who are rude].
Yahoo! Southeast Asia: What can you say about Margarito’s previous hand-wrap controversy during his match with Shane Mosley? People are saying that he should not fight anymore.
Manny: Unfair naman sa kanya na we won’t give him a chance to fight again. Boksingero sya. ‘Pag ang tao nagkakamali, bigyan natin ng chance na mabago ang sarili niya. Leksyon sa kanya yan. But we won’t let that happen in this coming fight.
Roach: I’ll be right there watching him wrapping, watching how he puts his gloves on. I’ll make sure everything is 100 percent right. He got away with that before but now, I won’t let that happen.
Yahoo! Southeast Asia: Who’s your boxing idol?
Manny: Marami akong idol. Basta ‘yung gusto ko ‘yung marunong rumespeto ng kapwa nya.
Yahoo! Southeast Asia: Your fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. has been postponed twice. People are still clamoring for that mega bout to happen. Why is it not pushing through? What should be the deal for it to push through?
Manny: Ayoko ng pag-usapan ‘yung kay Mayweather. Sana basbasan sya ng Diyos. Sana maayos na nya ang buhay nya. Alam kong marami siyang pinagdadaanang problema ngayon. Hindi ako nagagalit, wala akong sama ng loob sa kanya. Ang dasal ko lang, sana maayos nya na ang buhay nya at magkaroon sya ng takot sa Diyos.
Looking exhausted from his training, Pacquiao stood up and smiled as he went towards the fans.
Pacquiao did not name his boxing idol. But one thing is sure: he’s everybody’s idol—an inspiration to Filipinos from all walks of life.
Reposted From Izah Morales of Yahoo! Southeast Asia