SAN DIEGO, October 28, 2012 – If you have any doubts that eight-division boxing champion Manny Pacquiao is an international superstar of the highest order, take a look at what happens when the man merely shows up an airport.
You would think celebrities coming and going through Los Angeles International Airport would be a ho-hum thing by now. Justin Bieber barely draws a glance (OK, maybe a little more than that). But Pacquiao’s arrival in the U.S. Saturday night to train for his upcoming fight with Juan Manuel Marquez was greeting by a throng of media, photographers, and fight fans.
Pacquiao’s flight was announced by his promoter, Top Rank, down to the flight number (Philippines Airlines 102) and the time (8:05 p.m. Pacific Time). He and his entourage are used to this and PacMan graciously grants interviews before making his way out through the admiring mob.
Pacquaio’s arrival is a full two weeks later than he originally planned to get to Los Angeles, due to his obligations as an elected Congressman from the state of Sarangani. Pacquiao originally planned to hold his entire training camp in the United States, but he wanted to fulfill his political duties and told Top Rank he would arrive October 14. Instead, it turned out to be October 28, which caused Top Rank to cancel several promotional events. Bob Arum could not be too thrilled about this.
Pacquiao is not beginning his training for the December 8 fight with Marquez from scratch. He has been working in the Philippines. He begins working with his long time trainer Freddie Roach at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood on Monday.
Pacquiao (54-4-2, 38 KOs), chose to meet Marquez (54-6-1, 39 KOs) for the fourth time rather than go after a rematch with Timothy Bradley Jr., who beat Pacquiao in a controversial split decision. Pacquiao and Marquez share a legacy of three fights, which Pacquiao officially leads with two wins and a draw, but many observers believe Marquez won two if not all three fights, especially the last fight in November 2011.
After his lackluster, distracted effort against Marquez in their third fight, Pacquiao was supposed to enjoy an easy victory over Bradley, but we all know how that turned out. The Bradley victory created a major uproar on many levels. Pacquiao now needs a definitive victory here against Marquez, not another controversial decision. For his part, Marquez knows a knockout victory will validate all of his previous fights against Pacquiao.
Pacquiao’s later than expected arrival for training with Roach is bound to start the whispers about the effect of his political and religious distractions on his fighting and any seeming lack of focus. Questions continue to be asked including Roach in very blunt terms whether Pacquiao truly has the inner motivation to continue boxing at his highest level.
Will we ever see again the Manny Pacquiao who dropped Ricky Hatton with ease, who dominated opponents on the way to a 54-4-2 record? Fans hope so, because anticipation looms large of someday seeing the long awaited super fight between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather.
Casual fans know only a few big names in boxing, two of the few being Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather. The interest in the Pacquiao-Marquez IV fight for them comes down to knowing the role it plays in whether we ever see a Pacquiao vs. Mayweather fight.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Media Migraine in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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Copyright © 2012 by Falcon Valley Group
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