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Monday, March 8, 2010

Manny Pacquiao: Fighter, icon, politician…and pop star?

Manny Pacquiao is a rarity – a man who fights with a smile stitched onto his face. The Filipino fighting icon still enjoys soaring popularity, in spite of the collapse of his much anticipated contest this year with Floyd Mayweather Jnr.
Pacquiao’s last few weeks leading into his match-up with Ghanaian Joshua Clottey have seen him in the public spotlight. There have been nearly 240,000 hits on You Tube watching Manny sing on Jimmy Kimmel Live (posted above). That number is growing by the hour.

For me, it was a little like karaoke, but what do I know ? Pacquiao’s courage certainly knows no bounds.

Manny has had busloads of celebrities visiting his training camp, including the actors Jeremy Piven, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Steven Segal, Robert Duvall and Ron Perlman (Hell Boy movies).

“It has been the place to be,” one camp insider told me earlier today. Undefeated No. 1 light-middleweight contender Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. watched Manny work out last Friday.

Clearly, Pacquiao has no fear. But I think he should stick to the day job. The Filipino world will stop revolving once more and grind to a halt when the great fighter steps through the ropes to contest another title, having dispatched Oscar de la Hoya, Ricky Hatton, and Miguel Cotto in his last three contests.

Later today, a specially designed plane will charter 100 Pacquiao VIPs into Dallas, and the fighting team will travel in a specially designed tour bus…

It promises to be some spectacle. One only hopes that there is one man who is not reading the script…one Joshua Clottey, because everyone is hoping that they will get to see a fight at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium.


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