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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Pacman P1 billion richer after Cotto bout

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Manny Pacquiao could be a billion pesos richer by the time he steps out of the ring with Miguel Cotto in November.

His promoter, the legendary Bob Arum of Top Rank, said Friday morning that while Pacquiao’s guaranteed purse in the upcoming fight is $13 million, his total take, once everything comes in, could reach $20 million.

“He could get as much as $20 million for this fight,” the ageless promoter said Friday afternoon at the New York Times main office where Pacquiao had a 45-minute roundtable discussion with members of the NY Times sports staff.

The sports editor, Tom Jolly, and a couple others, including writers Greg Bishop and Naila Cuento Myers, who said her mother is a Filipina from Laguna, faced Pacquiao and they dwelled on his plans on and off the ring, including politics.

Pacquiao was asked how he got started in boxing, and the Filipino icon said he found the sport as the only way he could save his family, so poor they had nothing to share on the table, out of poverty.

“I remember that in my first fight as a professional, and I was 16 years old (a victory over Edmund Enting Ignacio on Jan. 22, 1995 in Mindoro Oriental), that I was paid a thousand pesos (roughly $20),” said Pacquiao.

Somehow, it gave the New York Times a hint of how interesting the life and story of this boxer is. And then Arum had to state that for the fight against Cotto, Pacquiao could get as much as $20 million.

Pacquiao earned close to $15 million each in his last two fights against Oscar dela Hoya and Ricky Hatton, and there’s just no other way but up for the one widely considered as the face of boxing today.

While the sports editor sat beside trainer Freddie Roach, and Pacquiao two seats away, got the ball rolling, it was Bishop (who covers the New York Jets for the mother of all newspapers) who did the jotting.

Pacquiao was asked about his political plans, and he said there’s no turning back in his second bid (after a failed attempt in 2007) for a congressional seat in his homeprovince in Saranggani, Mindanao.

“I want to help the people, the poor people who are suffering. And I’ve learned that it’s not easy (running for public office). Like in boxing, you have to prepare,” Pacquiao said in English.

“There’s some similarization (sic) in promoting a fight and running for office,” Jolly, who has 75 members of the New York Times sports section under his watch, said, “but do you plan to keep on fighting even if you win in the elections?”

“Yeah,” Pacquiao answered, and Arum cut in, saying, “That’s part of the deal.”

Pacquiao said he was gunning for a seventh world title in different weight classes, but said that’s as far as he can go. He was asked how many more fights is he looking at, and he said, “I don’t know. It’s up to him (Arum).”

Roach tried to recall how he hooked up with Pacquiao, and said it was in 2001 when he “walked into my gym looking for a trainer, and one month after we won the world title against (Lehlo) Ledwaba.”

“Guys like him come once in a lifetime. He’s the Muhammad Ali type. And I think we will never see another Manny Pacquiao at least in our lifetime,” said Roach.

Otherwise, what’s Pacquiao doing in the main office of the New York Times on a very busy day?

Source: philstar.com

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