Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Q&A: Manny Pacquiao!

By Felipe Leon

Manny Pacquiao (43-3-2, 34KO) has taken the boxing world by storm in the last four years or so. Since his devastating destruction of the legendary Marco Antonio Barrera in the Alamodome in 2003, Pacman has raised to the top of many pound for pound lists. His trail of victims is a virtual who’s who of the featherweight and super featherweight divisions.

Since that fateful night in 2003 when he administered a devastating TKO to Barrera, he has fought Juan Manuel Marquez, the current WBC 130 lbs. champ, to a draw after dropping him three times in the first round, TKO top contender Hector Velazquez, TKO Erik Morales twice, and won a unanimous decision against former super bantamweight titlist Oscar Larios in front of his home crowd in the Philippines last year. Coming off his three round TKO of his trilogy rival Morales, Pacquiao, 28, is ready to be the main event of Top Rank’s PPV “Blaze of Glory” on April 14th from the Alamodome in San Antonio, TX. His challenger for the WBC international super featherweight title is undefeated Jorge Solis (32-0-2, 23KO), brother of light flyweight IBF champ Ulisis Solis, of Mexico City.

If that wasn’t enough, the Filipino tornado is also running for congress in his native Philippines with elections fast approaching on May 14th.

Ironically after many of his bitter rivals being Mexican nationals, Pacquiao joined Fightnews for a one on one after enjoying a dinner of Mexican food at La PiƱata Restaurant in the old town section of San Diego, CA at a press conference to announce “Blaze of Glory”. Called by Top Rank’s Bob Arum “the greatest fighter in the world”, Pacquiao spoke about his political aspirations, his next opponent, and his quest to challenge Jorge Arce for ring entrances.

How long did it take you to arrive to the decision of running for congress? Is it something you always wanted to do?

Before I decided to run for congress I thought about it a lot and I realized that I could help the people.

You are very, very popular in the Philippines….

Yes but I am not thinking about how popular I am, I am only thinking is how I can help the people.

Is being a politician going to take away from your boxing career?

No, I want to turn to politics but I want to continue my boxing career. That is my business, my life. I am known for my boxing career so I don’t want to lose that.

After Barrera’s defeat against Marquez, do you think that there is still a chance for you to fight him?

I am happy to fight anybody. I don’t want to close the door on fighting Barrera or Marquez at the right time.

What do you know about Solis, your next opponent?

I saw him fight last January. He is taller than me but strong enough. He is undefeated and a good fighter.

Have you started training at the Wild Card Gym yet?


Justin Fortune is working your corner?

Doing good. He is teaching me a lot, like Freddie Roach. It’s like having Freddie Roach.

So you think it will be the same as Freddie?

Yeah but I think Freddie Roach is coming to the fight. He is going to be in my corner.

Did you give any thought to going to Puerto Rico since Roach invited you to train along side Oscar De La Hoya?

Freddie Roach, he invited me to go to Puerto Rico and to train but I don’t have the time because the fight is close so I decided to continue my training in Hollywood.

Do you have a prediction regarding the fight, are you prepared to fight twelve rounds or do you think it is going to end any earlier?

My prediction is that it is going to be a good fight because this is my first time to fight a guy with this style and he is undefeated. He will try to win and we will see on April 14th.

Do you feel any added pressure on the fact that this is the first time that you headline a PPV? Unlike the other times that you have fought on PPV, many people were buying the fight to see you against a big name opponent. This time it will be you who they want to see. Do you feel any pressure because of that?

A little pressure because, you know, it’s me that is fighting on PPV and I hope that people want to watch the fight.

Are you happy to go back to San Antonio where one of the biggest fights in your career in the last five years happened between you and Barrera?

I am very very excited to go back there and fight and see the people there.

Bob Arum said that you want to top Jorge Arce’s entrance, do you have any ideas?

(Laughs) You know, entrances are not that important to me. What is important is the fight. To give a good fight to the people and make people happy. That is it.

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