Tag Archives: Manny Pacquiao

Pacquiao-Cotto Fight in Las Vegas on Saturday to Be One for the Ages

Boxer Manny Pacquiao’s massive punching power is only matched by his massive drawing power, which has grown to overwhelm the traditional boundaries of the often insular realm of boxing, is driving the appeal of Saturday’s megafight with Miguel Cotto at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas- the boxing capital of the world.PacquiaoCotto

Arguably the most celebrated persona in his native Philippines, Pacquiao’s visage now graces the cover of the Asia edition of Time magazine. A five-page feature story appears in all editions, global and U.S., of the magazine. It delves into Pacquiao’s humble roots and his political ambitions in his homeland. 

“It is a great honor for me to be the face of my people and to let everyone know we are a small but mighty country,” Pacquiao said. “I have great pride for all of the Filipinos living throughout the world and it is these people that I fight for each and every time I step into the ring.” 

As a point of comparison, the most recent boxing covers of Time’s U.S. edition came in 1988 (Mike Tyson), 1978 (Muhammad Ali) and 1971 (Ali and Joe Frazier). 

Officials with Top Rank, the lead promoter of Saturday’s fight, point to a recent Sunday feature on Pacquiao in The New York Times as a manifestation of the media blitz that has accompanied the buildup to the fight. It was important to the promotion because of the worldwide reach of the newspaper’s Sunday edition.

It was also significant, and telling, because the Times typically affords boxing about as much coverage as it does the lumberjack competition. 

In a separate arena, Pacquiao was recognized this year as a Gusi Peace Prize laureate, an honor based in Manila, for humanitarianism. 

Pacquiao’s training sessions at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif., leading up to the fight not only generate mob scenes of fans and media members, but also attract the attention of the fire marshal to ensure the scene remains under some degree of control.

With its widespread appeal — “Beyond boxing, beyond sports,” Top Rank chairman Bob Arum said — the fight promotion has drawn some unconventional corporate partners. For example, the History Channel’s reality series “Pawn Stars,” about a family of Las Vegas pawnbrokers, is a sponsor. Among other branding efforts, the “Pawn Stars” logo will appear on the mat Saturday night.

It’s all expected to add up to pay-per-view sales — the engine that powers the big-time boxing business — for the fight that could approach or exceed record performances. 

The biggest pay-per-view bonanza to date was the 2007 fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Oscar De La Hoya at the MGM Grand, which generated 2.4 million “buys.” This year, Pacquiao’s fight against Ricky Hatton did about 900,000 buys, and Mayweather’s fight with Juan Manuel Marquez generated about 1 million. 

“The closed-circuit locations are doing tremendously” in the lead-up to Pacquiao-Cotto, Arum said. “We had the quickest sellout of tickets in years. We base how the pay-per-view is going to do on those indicators. It should do absolutely great.”

Pacquiao stands to earn $20 million for the fight, with Cotto’s total take expected to reach $10 million — the biggest paydays for both fighters. 

The hook (no pun intended) is that Pacquiao, nearly a 3-1 betting favorite, will be pursuing a world title in a seventh weight division. But that’s just the sports-trivia way of wording it. 

In real terms, Pacquiao has done more than any other boxer to obliterate the very notion of weight classes in boxing, along with the fractured and too-often meaningless so-called championships they spawn. He wants to test himself against the best. 

The “catch weight” for Saturday’s fight is 145 pounds, but Pacquiao said if it was up to him personally, he would have gladly agreed to fight at the 147-pound welterweight limit. 

Wisely — and appropriately — everyone associated with the fight has declined to address the next step for the winner, although a potential showdown with Mayweather awaits. 

And for another, Saturday’s fight is a tough one to predict. It has split journalists, fighters and other boxing figures in their forecasts. Let’s say, for instance, it ends with a close decision. A rematch between Pacquiao and Cotto is a real possibility.

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Las Vegas & Philippine Economies Get Boost this Weekend in Las Vegas

The “Philippine Connection” is very strong this weekend in Las Vegas.  

For one, this Saturday night is “Fight Night” at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas with the welterweight title bout of Manny Pacquiao versus Miguel Cotto bringing businesses from around the globe to Las Vegas, most significantly from the Philippines, the home of Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao.  {Fight article in Las Vegas Backstage Access tomorrow.} 

Even Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman has given both fighters a key to the city. 

Pinoy Pinay, a local Filipino restaurant on East Sahara, has welcomed Manny Pacquiao as a customer many times. And right now, their business is buzzing with anticipation. 

Clearly, “Fight Night” in Las Vegas is more than just a sporting event; it’s an economic engine attracting customers from around the world. The fighters will be earning millions, and so will Las Vegas, as well as having a Philippine economic imact. 

Ron Cabildo is a promoter for the Manny Pacquiao after-fight party at the Mandalay Bay. “It brings in my country people together. And they know how to spend money on the nightlife industry.” 

Filipino singing superstar Martin Nievera is also performing in Las Vegas this weekend at the Suncoast.   Martin is idolized in the Philippines. 

Martin was part of the cast of his father’s, Robert’s, old troupe the Society of Seven for the final two months of last year’s run at the Flamingo in Las Vegas.

The Society of Seven returned last week for a long-term engagement at the Gold Coast. 

That means the Nievera family and the Society of Seven will be going head to head this weekend in Las Vegas for a great Filipino cause. 

Nievera will perform at the Suncoast. Over the past five years he has had many Vegas engagements, including starring at the Golden Nugget for three months in 2004. Most recently he co-starred at the Suncoast in “Vocal Soup” with Susan Anton, Clint Holmes and Domenick Allen. 

Nievera jokes that producer Ed Matthews offered him the three-night gig at the Suncoast but had to look him up seven times on the Internet to find out what he does. 

What Nievera does is sing standards and pop hits. He’s recorded more than 30 albums. 

Nievera is also raising money for victims of typhoons in the Philippines. The nation was hit hard this year by a series of devastating storms. The two worst took place in September and early October, claiming more than 600 lives and causing more than $300 million in damage. 

“That’s what three nights at the Suncoast is doing,” Nievera says. “It’s more than just a gig. It will, hopefully, be another step toward hope and recovery for those folks suffering so badly in the Philippines. 

“Half a million people are without homes. Highways are now rivers. Bodies are showing up out of nowhere after being swept away by flooding all over the Philippines. The storms hit everyone — the rich, the poor, the powerful and the weak,”says Nievera. 

This weekend in Las Vegas is a big one for the Filipino’s in so many ways.

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“Sugar” Shane Mosley to fight Andre Berto in Las Vegas on Jan. 30

The chief executive of Golden Boy Promotions said  he has “finalized” a deal to match Pomona’s Shane Mosley, right, (46-5, 39 KOs) versus Andre Berto (26-0, 19 KOs) in a world welterweight title unification bout on Jan. 30 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. 

Mosley, who aspires to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. and/or Manny Pacquiao, had a TKO victory over Antonio Margarito earlier this year. ShaneMosley

Bernard Hopkins will fight Enrique Ornelas on Dec. 2 in Philadelphia. If he wins, as expected, Hopkins will fight Roy Jones Jr. sometime in 2010.

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Down – and Out – Goes Boxer Ricky Hatton

Last night Filipino boxing champ Manny Pacquiao, a minus-290 favorite, delivered spot-on devastating left and right hooks to overwhelm and eventually TKO Britan’s Ricky Hatton with onemannypacquiaowin second remaining in Round 2 of their scheduled 12-round junior welterweight showdown at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas before a sellout, bellowing, frothing-at-the-mouth crowd of 16,262. 

Pacquiao retained his pound-for-pound best boxer claim and improved his record to 49-3-2 with 37 knockouts.  Dominating the fight from the opening bell, Pacquiao established the right hook in the first 30 seconds, hammering away at Hatton, whose only answer was to hold and hit until finally succumbing to Pacquiao’s left hook to the chin knockout blow that reeled and crashed Hatton flat on his back to the canvas. 

Pacquiao earned $12 million for his smashing good looks and hooks;  Hatton got $8 million for his whooping.

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Boxing Match of the Year Moments Away in Las Vegas

The long-anticipated and sold out boxing match promoted as “The Battle of East and West,” pitting Filipino Mannyhattonpacquiao Pacquiao (48-3-2,  36 KOs) against Brit Ricky Hatton (45-1, 32 KOs) will start at approximately 8 p.m. (PT) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. 

With the betting line Pacquiao minus 270, over/under 9 ½ rounds and tickets priced at $150 to $1,000, the slugfest royale will undoubtedly be one for the record books.  Hatton’s IBO and The Ring magazine junior welterweight championships will be at stake.  Some contend Hatton is one the best British fighters ever, comparing  him to Ted “Kid” Lewis, who won nine titles in multiple weight divisions after turning pro.  For Pacquiao, at stake is the claim to be boxing’s pound-for-pound title, having already won three major fights in three weight divisions last year. 

Closed-circuit viewing for $50 is available at Mandalay Bay, Mirage, TI, Monte Carlo, Circus Circus, Luxor, and New York-New York.  HBO is offering on Pay-Per-View for $49.95.

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