IS MANNY PACQUIAO SAFE IN DALLAS, TX?
HEY MANNY, JFK DIDN’T THINK DALLAS WAS DANGEROUS!
San Francisco, CA- There was a time when renowned sports attorney Sydney Hall was calling me on the phone and talking up this fighter from the Philippines, a guy named Manny Pacquiao. Having heard about Pacquiao from different people, they all said he had peaked at 112 lbs. in winning the WBC flyweight title. Now with Pacquiao fighting at 122, Hall told me that he had enough confidence in Manny that he’d put him in with anybody!
AFRICAN CHAMP STRUCK BY LIGHTNING
With two weeks notice, Pacquiao steps in to face and destroy Lehlohonolo Ledwaba in Las Vegas in June 2001. With no fanfare, Pacquiao wins his second title in impressive fashion. The only time Pac looked less than stellar at 122 was against the “dirtiest player in the game,” the late Agapito Sanchez.
LEDWABA NOT EXACTLY DURAN
Ah, the African nicknamed “Hands of Stone” wasn’t the second coming of Roberto Duran, thus people reserved judgment on Pac. The November 2003 blitzing of Marco Antonio Barrera, that fight put Manny under the bright lights where he still stands today, only bigger than ever!
ON DECADE LONG TEAR
You can cite his not so fantastic performances with Juan Manuel Marquez if you want, but styles make fights and Marquez will always be a difficult opponent. Outside of that, Manny Pacquiao has beaten almost everybody to within an inch of their lives. The prolonged beating of Oscar De La Hoya, this was one in which Oscar never landed a punch. Ricky Hatton, he went in two sans landing a punch worth remembering.
BEATS COTTO & GAINS OFFICE
Miguel Cotto, here was a fighter nobody wanted to face, Pac stops him, albeit at 145 instead of 147 lbs. In a world not unlike the fight game, Pacquaio entered politics and after one setback at the polls, is now a Congressman in the Philippines.
MORE POPULAR THAN ANYBODY SINCE TYSON?
Man, that’s a long way from a gym on 16th St. in San Francisco, CA where I met the Pacman the day before his fight with Agapito Sanchez. Having been humble from the start, Pacquiao’s beaten everybody he’s faced since 1999 and become an international star of iconic proportions. Simply put, the Filipino has done more for boxing than any fighter in decades.
MARGARITO WAITING ON THE GRASSY KNOLL?
This coming Saturday, Manny faces Antonio Margarito. He is supposed to leave Dallas virtually untouched as he did earlier this year with Joshua Clottey. But there was a November day some 47 years ago when President John Kennedy thought the same thing. We know there was a conspiracy to take out JFK, are there people conspiring to do the same to Manny Pacquiao? You know there are. Thus, the question remains, is Manny safe in Dallas? No, not until they raise his hand.