Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Manny Pacquiao also a PPV champion

Manny Pacquiao already holds the record for winning titles in eight weight classes. Now, he has tied a record in the pay-per-view world.
Pacquiao matched former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson as the only fighter in pay-per-view history to generate at least 1 million buys for a fight in three consecutive years. HBO announced Tuesday that Pacquiao's one-sided battering of Antonio Margarito on Nov. 13 at Cowboys Stadium to win a vacant junior middleweight title -- his record-extending eighth -- generated at least 1.15 million buys and $64 million domestic pay-per-view revenue.
The number HBO reported is only an initial figure, with the total likely to rise once the buys are fully accounted for.
"We're thrilled with the PPV performance," said HBO senior vice president Mark Taffet, who runs HBO PPV. "With the breadth of interest from sports, entertainment and news media following Manny and the fight, boxing has tremendous momentum as we finish 2010 and head into a very exciting 2011."
Pacquiao's lopsided eighth-round destruction of Oscar De La Hoya, which sent him into retirement, generated 1.25 million buys in 2008. Pacquiao's 12th-round knockout of Miguel Cotto in 2009 sold 1.2 million units.
"This is the third consecutive year that a Manny Pacquiao megafight has exceeded 1 million buys and he has generated 5.1 million buys over his last five fights -- true measures of his PPV superstar status," Taffet said.
Pacquiao's other 2010 fight, a lopsided decision against Joshua Clottey at Cowboys Stadium in March, generated 700,000 buys. That fight was made on short notice and Clottey was a virtual unknown.
"I think the fight with Margarito did very, very well and we are constantly trying to figure out how to better our performances," Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said. "Considering where we were when we announced the fight, nobody would have believed we would have done this. They said Margarito was disgraced and people talked about boycotting it."
Arum was referring to the scandal that engulfed Margarito, who had been caught in January 2009 of trying to enter his fight against Shane Mosley with loaded hand wraps. He was caught, had his license revoked by California regulators and became a pariah before Texas granted him a license to fight Pacquiao.
After Tyson was released from prison, he also did huge numbers for fights from 1995 to 1997. The total for Pacquiao-Margarito is the second-biggest pay-per-view of the year. Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s May win against Shane Mosley generated 1.4 million.
Of course, the biggest fight in boxing would match Pacquiao, the pound-for-pound king, with Mayweather. However, two rounds of negotiations have failed. When Mayweather rejected an offer to fight him on Nov. 13, Margarito was tapped instead.
Arum is proud of the fact that Pacquiao, who is from the Philippines, has become a major star in the United States.
"That's one of the achievements we can take credit for -- taking a non-American and crossing him over," Arum said. "Can we do more? Yeah. Nobody would have dreamed that you could take a fighter from the Philippines and make him into an iconic American star and we've been able to do that. Most of the credit goes to Pacquiao, but we've been able to do that and now we have to improve on what we've done.
"It's a work in progress. It's one thing to do big numbers fighting Oscar De La Hoya, who always did big numbers. It's another doing them on his own, which he is now apparently able to do. One of the ways to put it into the stratosphere is to make the Mayweather fight, but that is out of my control.
"I hope that is the next fight."

Pacquiao picks Mosley over JMM

MANILA, Philippines – Newly-crowned World Boxing Council (WBC) super welterweight king Manny Pacquiao said he is willing to face former champion “Sugar” Shane Mosley.

Pacquiao said a battle against Mosley may turn out to be a more interesting fight than with his other rival, Juan Manuel Marquez of Mexico.

“Magaling naman si Shane Mosley, eh (Shane Mosley is a good fighter),” the 8-division champion told ABS-CBN’s Dyan Castillejo.

He added that the former World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight champion has a wider fan base compared to Marquez.

“Marquez? Siguro walang manonood... walang pay-per-view (Marquez? Nobody might watch us… no pay-per-view),” said Pacquiao.

Mosley has been chasing Pacquiao since the Filipino won over Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto in 2009. After Pacquiao’s win over Mexico’s Antonio Margarito, Mosley reached out to promoter Bob Arum to negotiate the fight despite being a shareholder of Golden Boy Promotions (GBP). GBP is the business rival of Arum’s Top Rank promotions. Marquez, meanwhile, has already fought Pacquiao twice.

The first fight was in May 2004 when the match ended in a draw despite Pacquiao scoring 3 knockdowns over Marquez.
A rematch took place in March 2008 when the Filipino champion again decked the gutsy Mexican for a split decision.
Both fights ended in controversial fashion.

Floyd in Pacquiao’s mind

However, if Pacquiao were to choose, he’d rather pick a fight against unbeaten American Floyd Mayweather Jr.

“’Yun ang mas maganda (That’s the better fight),” said the pound-for-pound champion.

Pacquiao earlier said that he has already achieved everything he wants in boxing even without fighting Mayweather.
“For me, if the fight happens, it happens. If not, I'm okay because I really don't need him. I’m satisfied with what I did in boxing with all the achievements that I have. I’m satisfied and happy. I thank God for everything he gave to me,” said the Filipino boxing superstar.

Promoters had exerted efforts to arrange a Pacquiao-Mayweather clash.

But the two boxers couldn't reach a deal last January, prompting Arum to arrange a Pacquiao bout against Ghanaian Joshua Clottey in March.

When negotiations with the Mayweather camp broke down again months later, Arum turned his attention to Mexico’s Margarito as Pacquiao's next opponent.

However, one complication to a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight is the American's battery case. The former pound-for-pound king was accused of beating his former girlfriend, Jose Harris, in front of their children. Pacquiao has said he’d readily accept the challenge if Mayweather calls out his name. “Mayweather? Walang problema (Mayweather? No problem, I’ll fight him),” said the Filipino champion.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Andre Berto: Manny Pacquiao Has 'Skills to Pay the Bills'

Whether or not Manny Pacquiao has faced an African American fighter,Andre Berto says that the Filipino star has demonstrated "the skills to pay the bills."

A 27-year-old Winterhaven Fla., resident who is of Haitian descent, Berto (26-0, 20 knockouts) was responding to statements made to FanHouse by former undisputed middleweight (160 pounds) king, Bernard Hopkins, that Pacquiao has yet to face an American-born black fighter with a slick style.

Nicknamed "The Mexicutioner" for his dominance of Mexican boxers, Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 KOs) is coming off of a Nov. 13, unanimous decision triumph over Antonio Margarito (38-7, 27 KOs) of Mexico for the WBC's vacant junior middleweight (154 pounds) belt. 

Already the WBO welterweight (147 pounds) king, Pacquiao also earned his eighth title over as many different weight classes and his 13th straight win, including eight knockouts during that run. 

"At the end of the day, you're going to have to have the skills to pay the bills, and he [Pacquiao] has shown that he has that," said Berto, who is the WBC's welterweight champion. 

"And you have to have the skills to go in there and put it on them," said Berto. "At the end of the day, it doesn't matter whether you're white, black, Chinese...you have to have those skills to make it happen in the ring."

But Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports wrote recently that "Pacquiao still has [yet] to face the ultimate test -- the fast, speedy, in-his-prime opponent that a Floyd Mayweather [41-0, 25 KOs] would be." 

A fighter such as Sugar Ray Leonard, Iole contends, "represents the kind of fighter Pacquiao has yet to face: A big guy with tremendous speed and quickness as well as punching power, defensive skill and a quality chin."

Hopkins further pointed out that Pacquiao's resume does not include six-time champion Mayweather or former welterweight and junior middleweight world champion Shane Mosley (46-6-1, 39 KOs).

Negotiations for a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight have twice reached an impasse.

"I heard about the statement he [Hopkins] made, and, you know, it's somewhat of a true statement. But at the end of the day, Manny Pacquiao, you can't take anything away from what he's done," said Berto. 

"Manny Pacquiao's still a tremendous fighter," said Berto. "But I think that it's just coincidence that he hasn't fought too many African American fighters, or, well, really, the fact is that he hasn't at all. But you know, I don't really think too much about that."

Berto is focused for on Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, where he will make the fifth defense of his crown against Mexico City's Freddy Hernandez on an HBO televised card.

"This is definitely a representation of a step forward. I mean there are other guys out there, and this guy is not a big-name fighter, but he's a dangerous fighter," said Berto of the 31-year-old Hernandez, who has won 12 straight, six by knockout, since losing a split-decision to Golden Johnson in February of 2005. 

"I think that a fight like this, in a lot of ways, is a more dangerous fight to have to fight because this is a situation where I have everything to lose and he has got everything to gain. At the same time, these are the types of fights that I really get up for and I'll get up for this just because of that," said Berto.

"This is going to be a really good fight, and we're looking forward to coming out of here with a win," said Berto. "We're looking forward to just moving forward and looking at bigger things in the future. We'll handle business on Saturday night, and then, it looks like the floodgates will open."

Berto hopes to turn in a performance against Hernandez (29-1, 20 KOs) that will lure his dream match up against an opponent such as Pacquiao.

"I'm focused on Saturday night and Freddy Hernandez, and that's all that I'm focused on right now. I'm looking forward to coming out of there with a win, hopefully, in impressive fashion. And then, everything that comes after that, you know, we will have to see," said Berto.

"But of course, you know, I'm looking at Manny Pacquiao, guys like Floyd Mayweather, and Shane Mosley, you know, they're the guys that I've always looked up to since my days as an amateur," said Berto. "It's just going to be a place for me to get in there and to state my presence against those future Hall of Famers. But, like I said, I have to handle my business on Saturday night."

Berto-Hernandez is taking place as part of an HBO televised triple-header promoted by Golden Boy Promotions whose main event will feature WBO and WBA lightweight (135 pounds) titlist Juan Manuel Marquez (51-5-1, 37 KOs) of Mexico opposite WBO interim king Michael Katsidis (27-2, 22 KOs) of Australia.

The Marquez-Katsidis under card will also boast WBA super bantamweight (122 pounds) king Celestino Caballero (34-2, 23 KOs) facing super featherweight (130 pounds) Jason Litzau (27-2, 21 KOs).

Pacquiao's promoter, Top Rank CEO, Bob Arum, has told FanHouse that Berto is indeed a strong consideration to face Pacquiao, that is, after first considering six-time champion Mayweather, Marquez, and, likely, Mosley, the latter of whom turned down an offer from promoter, Lou DiBella, that proposed a 50-50 split to face Berto.

Another potential rival for Berto in the Pacquiao sweepstakes could be his promotional stablemate, WBC middleweight (160 pounds) king, Sergio Martinez (46-2-2, 25 KOs), who is coming off of last Saturday's second-round knockout of former three-time titlist Paul Williams (39-2, 27 KOs).

In defeating Williams in a clash of southpaws, Martinez avenged a disputed, majority decision loss in December that included both fighters being floored in the first round. 

Berto also has been mentioned as a potential rival to WBA junior middleweight king Miguel Cotto(35-2, 28 KOs).

Berto is coming off of April's career-defining, eighth-round knockout of Puerto Rican southpaw and former world champion Carlos Quintana, who, with, Martinez, is the only other man to have beaten Williams.

"If it was all up to me, after Freddy Hernandez, if I could line things up for next year then it would be Shane Mosley, Miguel Cotto and then Manny Pacquiao," Berto told FanHouse during an Oct. 21 interview. 

"If I could get all three of them next year, you know, that would be my route that I would want to go in," said Berto. "Then, I think that with that, I would be able to be satisfied. That would definitely satisfy myself and that would definitely show where I'm at."



After Saturday night's destruction of Paul Williams, there is little doubt that Sergio Martinez is, at the very least, the #3 pound-for-pound fighter in the world.  That victory set him clearly atop the middleweight division, where he was already world champion,  and provided a spark that could catapult him into being a pay-per-view headliner.  
We're at a special place right now, a situation where the top three boxers in the world could meet each in superfights.  This is reminiscent of the 1980s, when we had Leonard, Duran, and Hearns all fighting each other.  What makes this age different, however, is that we have the top two fighters unwilling to face each other.  
With Martinez's victory, Floyd Mayweather has been given a very attractive alternative to fighting Manny Pacquiao.  Sergio Martinez offers a challenge beyond anything that Mayweather has faced in his career thus far.  It's the opportunity to face a world champion who is top 3 pound-for-pound, in his prime, just as quick, physically bigger, and most importantly, holds the coveted undisputed middleweight championship of the world.  
Another attractive aspect of fighting Martinez is his willingness to face Floyd on Floyd's terms.  As evidenced in my previous interview, Martinez would be willing to comply with all of Floyd's demands because he considers it an honor to fight the best in the world.  He would be considered more than just a dangerous underdog, as he brings power, speed, and stamina to the ring against Mayweather.  The fight would be viewed as a legitimate challenge and Mayweather's legacy would greatly increase with a victory, as he could lay claim to a middleweight championship just like Ray Leonard. 
From Martinez's point-of-view, fighting Mayweather would offer the best possible exposure to casual fans while testing his skill against the best technical boxer on the planet.  A win would make him a mainstream star and he would then have stronger bargaining power towards getting Pacquiao in the ring.  Nobody in the higher weight classes offers such exposure with the mainstream sports public. 
Since Pacquiao seems content to only face Top Rank fighters, Mayweather should pounce on the opportunity to face Martinez.  It's a win-win for both fighters; a chance to make serious money while fighting the best pound-for-pound fighter available to them.  We as fans can only hope that both fighters will seriously consider this option.

Pacquiao declares he’s willing to take on another bigger foe

Shortly after bagging his eighth world weight division title, Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao announced that he is ready to fight World Boxing Council middleweight champion Sergio Martinez. The Argentinian boxer recently scored an impressive round knockout victory against American Paul Williams. 

Pacquiao (52-3-2 win-loss-draw with 38 knockouts) explained though that he would most likely fight Martinez (46-2-2 with 25 knockouts), another bigger opponent at a weight below 150 pounds. Despite the disadvantage in height and reach, won against Mexican Antonio Margarito on November 13 in Texas via unanimous decision.  

“I’m willing to fight anybody,” said Pacquiao to reporters during his homecoming victory in GMA 7’s Studio 6 Sunday. Besides Martinez, Shane Mosley and unbeaten American Floyd Mayweather Jr. are also in Pacquiao’s list as possible next opponents.

Pacquiao, who assured he’s good for another bout after six months, said he is very much willing to take on Mosley since he’s a good fighter and a champion or even Mayweather if ever he accepts the challenge.  

But Martinez said in an interview by Boxingscene’s Lem Satterfield he would not face Pacquiao, saying it’s a mismatch and the Filipino too small. His manager Sampson Lew-kowicz agreed, saying Martinez would knockout Pacquiao easily.

If ever Pacquiao turns Martinez into one of his victims, then the congressman of Saranggani would hold the distinction of being a world champion in nine different weight divisions—a record that could stand forever.   

When asked to comment of his possible bout with Juan Manuel Marquez, Pacquiao said, “No one would watch it.” He added that he wanted a guaranteed price if his promoter decides to push through with his third fight against Marquez.

After conquering Margarito, boxing fans all over the world are yearning to see Pacquiao fight Mayweather next year, a match that many consider as the “bout of the century.”

Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao's Congressional Speech

The Honorable Congressman of Sarangani, Philippines, Emmanuell "Manny" D. Pacquiao delivered his privileged speech after he was awarded a Medal of Distinction from his astonishing win against Mexican Antonio Margarito.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pacquiao willing to take on Martinez, Mayweather

MANILA, Philippines - People's Champ Manny Pacquiao is returning to a hero's welcome at the House of Representatives on Monday after winning a historic 8th boxing world title in as many divisions.

It will be the first time that Pacquiao will be feted by Congress as one of its own. The fighting congressman of Sarangani will receive the Congressional Medal of Distinction from his own peers later today.

In an interview, Pacquiao said he is excited to meet his fellow congressmen and share the joy of bringing honor to the country.

"Naghahanda na daw sila, naghanda daw ang Congress para sa akin, so excited ako," he said he said in an interview on ABS-CBN's "Umagang Kay Ganda.

The Sarangani congressman said he also wants to resume his legislative duties and apply the same discipline he applies in training to his new role as congressman. He downplayed criticism that he is doing too much balancing his responsibilities as a boxer and a lawmaker.

"Kapag mahal mo ang trabaho mo, gusto mo...Some people work 3-4 hours and say, 'That's it. That's my whole day. I need to take a rest.' For me, I will train 3-4 hours and then I still have a lot of time. Ang isang araw para sa akin ay 12 hours," "

Pacquiao said paperwork has piled up in his office after he started training for his fight against the "Tijuana Tornado" Antonio Margarito. The People's Champ defeated Margarito via unanimous decision last November 13.

Pacquiao said he is backing the passage of an anti-human trafficking law as well as building a provincial hospital in Sarangani.

"We really need to wipe out human trafficking because it is so prevalent and victimizes a lot of people. I also want to put up a hospital in our province as well as livelihood programs for the people in my district. These are the projects closest to my heart," he said.

Mayweather, Mosley, Martinez

Pacquiao reiterated that he is not hanging up his boxing gloves and is good for another fight after 6 months.

Asked which boxer he would like to take on, he said he would take on anybody in the ring including World Boxing Council (WBC) middleweight champion Sergio Martinez. The Argentinean Martinez retained his WBC middleweight belt after knocking out American Paul Williams with an impressive second-round punch on Saturday.

Pacquiao said he would most likely fight Martinez below 150 pounds.

He said he is also willing to take on Shane Mosley "since he's a good fighter and a champion."

He also said he will not hesitate to fight the undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr. if the latter agrees to fight him. "No problem. That would be a good fight."

He thumbed down a rematch against Juan Manuel Marquez "because no one would watch it."

He said fighting Marquez would be easy but that he is unsure if there would be enough people who would watch it on pay-per-view. He also said he wanted a guaranteed price if his promoter decides that he should fight Marquez.

"OK naman ako kapag Marquez. Usually kasi involve ako sa promotion and also the Top Rank, kung gusto nila ng Marquez, mas madali. Madali lang sa akin yun, mas madaling laban kaya lang sila ang magpo-promote. Solohin nila ang promotion bigyan nila kami ng guaranteed price, walang problema, kung malugi man, walang problema," he said.

Pacquiao said he continues to improve in the ring and could easily do 1-2 fights before he retires.

Asked if he wants an "easy or hard fight" next time, he said: "It depends. Depends if it's going to be an easy fight. Sometimes it's a hard fight. Maybe there are no more easy fights."