Quote for the Week..

"Why are the country’s political leaders quick to act on amending the Constitution to change nationalistic provisions for the benefit of foreigners or to extend their terms of office but are allergic to amending the Constitution to address the people’s aspirations for self-determination?" - Marvic Leonen,Dean of the UP College of Law, in a keynote address delivered at the 1st International Solidarity Conference on Mindanao; March 16-18, 2009 in Davao City, Philippines.


Friday, May 1, 2009

"It's going to be a war" - Pacquiao

LAS VEGAS—RICKY HATTON promised to “shock the world” when he meets Manny Pacquiao on Saturday night (Sunday morning in Manila) in a title fight that both boxers said would be a war.

The expected fireworks at the two fighters’ joint press conference at the MGM Grand hotel-casino on Wednesday fizzled out, but just the same promoters of the “Battle of East and West” succeeded in raising interest in the blockbuster card.

But Pacquiao’s mother, Dionesia, in the United States for the first time, provided the sizzle.

Oddsmakers have installed Pacquiao a 2-1 favorite in their 140-pound (63½-kilogram) fight for Hatton’s IBO junior-welterweight title.

“I’ve been here before,” Hatton said, reveling in his role as underdog. “People say (I’m) over-hyped, overprotected, a fat, beer-drinking Englishman. Well, I’m going to shock the world again.”

Pacquiao said he and his team had been repeatedly watching video tapes of previous Hatton fights and were ready for Saturday’s showdown.

“Everyone knows the style of Ricky Hatton,” the 30-year-old Filipino added. “He always comes forward, throwing a lot of punches. It’s going to be a war.”

Hatton was quick to echo his opponent’s forecast. “Oh yeah, it’s going to be a war,” he said. “We’re going to make it one.”

Poet Mayweather Sr.

Hatton said “I will be shocked” if the fight went against him. “And I say that with no disrespect for my opponent.

“But just standing next to him—and I hope this doesn’t come back to haunt me because he can punch—the first thing that goes through my mind is: ‘How is this man going to keep me off him for 12 rounds?’ That’s how confident I feel.”

Bob Arum of Top Rank and Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions took turns extolling the virtues of their respective fighters, Pacquiao and Hatton, during the fight’s final press conference even as Floyd Mayweather Sr. failed in his bid to lure counterpart trainer, Freddie Roach, into a verbal tussle.

Roach keeps his cool

Mayweather, who recited a poem, referred to Roach as a joke of a coach and insulted the three-time Trainer of the Year and Hall of Famer by likening him to a cockroach.

Roach kept his cool, opting not to answer the taunts. Roach’s speech was short and sweet. He said he had the better fighter, reiterating that he would be disappointed if Pacquiao did not get Hatton in three.

Mayweather taunted Pacquiao in poetic verse as he predicted a knockout by the British “Hitman.”

“After this fight, Pacman will never be the same,” Mayweather said.

“Hey Pac, it’s over, so quit wishing on a four-leaf clover.

“You will be uncrowned, with your head down, on your chest, knowing that Ricky Hatton is the best.

“I hope you know, you have got to go, it’s going to be Hitman Hatton by KO.”

The 78-year-old Arum called Pacquiao the world’s best pound-for-pound fighter and the Social Welfare System of the Philippines for sending 500 children to school, donating hospital beds and giving dole-outs to the destitute.

De La Hoya cited Hatton’s iconic stature in England, citing the 60,000 fans who packed the Wembley Stadium in one of his fights.

Hatton sounded a little bitter

“I think you (media) have all made your mind up already,” Hatton said. “I have been reading what you have been saying and what everyone has been saying. That doesn’t scare me. I have been here before. I have been the underdog before.

Hatton added: “This is my weight division, but I understand that I am the underdog. I understand why people are picking on me especially since Manny Pacquiao is the No. 1 pound for pound fighter in the world who just had an exceptional win over Oscar.”

Pacquiao refused to predict the outcome

“I respect Ricky Hatton. He is a good person. He is a nice guy and I would like to remind everyone that there is nothing personal (in) this fight and we are just doing our job to give a good fight to the people and make them happy.”

Dionesia a hit

It was Pacquiao’s mother, Aling Dionesia, who grabbed attention when he was introduced by Arum to the hundreds of broadcast and print journalists.

A swarm of photographers swarmed all over Dionesia, who is in the United States for the first time to lend support to his favorite son. She still can’t bring herself to watch her son fight.

“She is scared to watch it live,” Pacquiao said. “To have her here, it’s going to give me more inspiration to do my best and win. It’s going to be one of the best times I’ve had in my life.”

Dionesia says she plans to pray for her son while he is in the ring.

“I’m not scared,” she said through a translator. “I’m confident he’s going to win. Manny is going to go all the way.”

Lessons in humility, generosity

“I wasn’t feeling too well and also I wanted to take care of everything at home so it was ready when Manny got home,” she said. “I love the United States. It’s wonderful. I have wanted to come here for a long time.”

Pacquiao has pleased his mother by learning the lessons she taught of humility and generosity.

“It’s the way he processes everything, humbly and with kindness,” she said.

A sell-out

Though the Hatton fight is for a lightly regarded IBO crown, winning at junior welterweight will mean Pacquiao has won titles in six weight divisions, beginning at 112 pounds (51 kilograms).

Both fighters had spectacular performances the last time they were in the ring. For Pacquiao it was the win over De La Hoya, but Hatton showed off some himself a few weeks earlier by stopping Paulie Malignaggi in front of thousands of his ever-singing fans.

Promoters claim the fight has already sold out the 15,000-seat arena at the MGM and are selling closed circuit viewing at other Las Vegas hotels. They’re also hopeful that even an ailing economy won’t stop people from spending $50 to order the fight on pay-per-view, perhaps with a few friends.

With reports from AP, Reuters and AFP

No comments: