Philippine Court Dismisses Tax Case Against Pacquiao

(FILES) This file photo taken on January 24, 2019 shows Philippine boxing icon Manny Pacquiao during a press conference shortly after arriving at the international airport in Manila, days after defeating US boxer Adrien Broner in Las Vegas. – Philippine superstar Manny Pacquiao announced on September 29, 2021 he is retiring from boxing after a glittering decades-long career in the ring, describing it as the “hardest decision” of his life. (Photo by Ted ALJIBE / AFP)

 

 

Philippine boxing legend Manny Pacquiao on Friday won a years-long court battle to avoid paying tens of millions of dollars in extra taxes after an appeals court dismissed the case against him.

Pacquiao and his wife Jinkee had been accused by the Bureau of Internal Revenue in 2012 of owing more than 2.2 billion pesos ($37 million) in unpaid taxes for 2008 and 2009.

The 43-year-old previously insisted he had paid the taxes in the United States, so did not need to do so in the Philippines because the two countries have an agreement allowing their citizens to avoid double taxation.

Then president Benigno Aquino was waging a bruising campaign against tax evasion as part of a general crackdown on corruption.

Pacquiao, a former world champion and politician, became one of the highest-profile targets of the tax office’s sweep.

But the Court of Tax Appeals found the tax office had relied on “unverified news articles” to make its assessment.

In a 49-page judgement, the court said the “assessment for deficiency income tax is void for violation of petitioners’ right to due process and for lack of sufficient factual basis”.

The ruling was handed down on September 29 but apparently only released on Friday.

Pacquiao, who reportedly ranked among the country’s top individual taxpayers in 2008 and 2009, welcomed the decision.

“Since the start of my career, I have made sure to pay all my taxes because this helps our government,” he said in a statement.

“I thank the Lord that the truth has come out.”

AFP could not reach the tax office for comment. It is not known if it plans to appeal the decision.

Pacquiao, who retired from boxing last year for a tilt at the Philippines presidency, is deeply admired for hauling himself out of poverty to become one of the world’s greatest and wealthiest fighters.

But he has also earned plenty of detractors with his support for former president Rodrigo Duterte’s deadly drug war, homophobic comments and lack of education.

Pacquiao has been preparing for a charity match against martial arts YouTuber DK Yoo scheduled for December 10 in Seoul.

He ended his 26-year boxing career with a points defeat to Cuban Yordenis Ugas in August 2021 and, as well as being a former senator, made a failed bid earlier this year to be president of his country.

Pacquiao’s net worth was almost $54 million in 2020, according to Senate data.

Manny Pacquiao Quits Boxing With Presidency In Sight

(FILES) This file photo taken on January 24, 2019 shows Philippine boxing icon Manny Pacquiao during a press conference shortly after arriving at the international airport in Manila, days after defeating US boxer Adrien Broner in Las Vegas. (Photo by Ted ALJIBE / AFP)

 

Philippine boxing legend and 2022 presidential hopeful Manny Pacquiao said on Wednesday that he is hanging up his gloves after a glittering decades-long career in the ring.

The multi-division world champion and senator, who has his sights set on a high-stakes rumble to replace President Rodrigo Duterte, said quitting the sport that lifted him out of poverty was the “hardest decision” of his life.

“It is difficult for me to accept that my time for me as a boxer is over,” the 42-year-old said in a video message on Twitter that quickly went viral.

“Today I am announcing my retirement,” added Pacquiao, whose fights during his heyday stopped traffic in the Philippines — and even supposedly crime.

It comes weeks after Pacquiao, considered one of the best boxers of all time, lost what turned out to be his last professional fight, against Cuban Yordenis Ugas in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao, who entered politics in 2010 as a congressman before being elected to the Senate, said last week that he will make a tilt for the country’s highest office.

Pacquiao, a married father of five, thanked his millions of fans around the world and paid special tribute to his long-time trainer Freddie Roach who he described as “my family, a brother and a friend”.

The decision ends weeks of speculation that Pacquiao was planning to retire after 26 years as a professional boxer. He ended with a 62-8 win-loss record and two draws.

“He’s gonna go down as a legend of not just boxing but of the sporting world,” Ted Lerner, a US-born sports journalist in the Philippines, told AFP.

“In the future… his name will be sort of synonymous with greatness, in the level of Michael Jordan or people who have transcended their sport and become like mythical legends.”

In the video message, Pacquiao said boxing had given him “the chance to fight my way out of poverty” and “the courage to change more lives”.

“I will never forget what I have done and accomplished in my life. I can’t imagine I just heard the final bell,” said Pacquiao, who retired briefly in 2016 before reversing the decision.

– Presidential ambitions –

Pacquiao is idolised by many in the Philippines both for his punching power and rise from desperate street kid to the peak of boxing.

He dropped out of high school at 14, sold doughnuts on the roadside and became a grocery stacker to help his mother support two younger siblings.

Within a few years, the diminutive southpaw was a pro boxer destined for the big time.

News of his retirement was greeted with mixed feelings in his southern hometown of General Santos, where support for the boxer runs deep.

“I am both happy and sad,” Anna Rodriguez, 24, told AFP.

“I am happy because he will be able to spend more time with his family, but I’m also sad because he will no longer bring pride to General Santos.”

Manila taxi driver Jerry Barilea told AFP it was the right time for Pacquiao to bow out.

“He’s getting old, he really can’t do it anymore,” the 58-year-old said.

As he prepares to register as a presidential candidate, Pacquiao has vowed to tackle poverty and corruption in a bid to win over voters with his rags-to-riches story.

After two terms as a congressman and one as a senator, Pacquiao’s ambition is not unrealistic in a country famed for its celebrity-obsessed politics.

But victory is far from assured.

Fans see Pacquiao as living proof that success is possible for anyone who works hard, no matter their origins.

But Pacquiao has stirred controversy as a politician, earning him plenty of detractors.

Critics accuse the high-school dropout of lacking intellect and being a frequent no-show in the Senate, raising questions about his ability to run the country of 110 million people.

Less than a year out from the elections, Pacquiao has risked political capital in a public battle with Duterte, who rivals the boxer for the affections of many Filipinos and previously mentioned him as a possible successor.

He has also stirred controversy by backing Duterte’s deadly drug war, which rights groups say has killed tens of thousands of mostly poor men and sparked an investigation by the International Criminal Court.

AFP

Philippines’ Manny Pacquiao To Run For President In 2022

Pacquiao, Roach At Loggerheads Over Reunion
File Photo:  Sarah Stier / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

 

Philippine boxer-turned-politician Manny Pacquiao declared Sunday he will run for president in 2022, ending months of speculation about whether the legendary fighter would seek the country’s top job.

“The time is now — we are ready to rise to the challenge of leadership,” said Pacquiao, as he accepted the nomination of a rival faction in President Rodrigo Duterte’s ruling party.

The eight-division world champion and beloved national hero made the announcement weeks after losing what could be his last professional fight against Cuban Yordenis Ugas in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao, who entered politics in 2010 as a congressman before being elected to the Senate, has long been expected to make a tilt for the country’s highest office.

The 42-year-old is deeply admired in the archipelago nation for his generosity and hauling himself out of poverty to become one of the world’s greatest and wealthiest boxers.

His boxing credentials along with fighting poverty and corruption are likely to be the key themes of his campaign.

“For those asking what are my qualifications, have you ever experienced hunger?” Pacquiao asked the national assembly held by the anti-Duterte faction of PDP-Laban.

“Have you ever experienced having nothing to eat, to borrow money from your neighbours or to wait for leftovers at a food stall? The Manny Pacquiao that is in front of you was moulded by poverty.”

AFP

Manny Pacquiao Considering Rematch With Ugas After Defeat

Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines (L) looks at Yordenis Ugas of Cuba after a slip during the WBA Welterweight Championship boxing match at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on August 21, 2021. (Photo by Patrick T. FALLON / AFP)

 

 

Manny Pacquiao has refused to rule out a rematch with WBA champion Yordenis Ugas following his upset defeat to the Cuban last weekend, which nudged the Filipino boxing star ever closer to retirement.

Pacquiao, 42, told The Athletic website that he may consider fighting Ugas again in January following his unanimous decision loss to the 35-year-old in Las Vegas on Saturday.

“Yes, I can come back in January. I will see about it,” Pacquiao told the website. “I know I can rematch him if I want. I’ll just need to tell (promoter) Al Haymon. That would be no problem.”

 

 Cuba’s Yordenis Ugas upset Manny Pacquiao to retain his WBA welterweight crown on Saturday, winning by unanimous decision after a bruising 12-round battle at the T-Mobile Arena. (Photo by Patrick T. FALLON / AFP)

 

Ugas said in the aftermath of his win on Saturday, where he clinically picked off Pacquiao from long range to score a deserved victory, that he would be willing to offer the eight-division world champion a rematch.

Pacquiao — who is mulling a bid for the presidency of the Philippines — said on Saturday he might not fight again after the eighth loss of his glittering 26-year professional career.

However, he told The Athletic he could be tempted by a second Ugas fight, admitting he was still baffled by the nature of last weekend’s loss.

 

Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines enters the ring for his fight against Yordenis Ugas of Cuba during the WBA Welterweight Championship boxing match at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on August 21, 2021(Photo by Patrick T. FALLON / AFP)

 

“I will think about it because I can’t believe that one of the easiest opponents I ever faced did that,” said Pacquiao, who has blamed cramping in his legs for his leaden-footed performance.

“He shouldn’t have touched me. When I moved here (to the right), I had nothing. You know how I move. You’ve seen it so many times.

“(Ugas) only had one style, and I should’ve been able to easily move away — you’ve seen how I have moved in my fights before. I couldn’t move in this fight. My legs just stopped.”

President Pacquiao? King Of The Ring Mulls Philippines’ Top Job

Pacquiao, Roach At Loggerheads Over Reunion
NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 19: Manny Pacquiao smiles during a press conference at Gotham Hall in preparation for his upcoming match against Adrien Broner on November 19, 2018 in New York City. Sarah Stier / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

 

 

A two-year break from boxing has left Philippine legend Manny Pacquiao “hungry” to get back in the ring for what could be the last fight of his storied career — and a warm-up for a presidential rumble.

The eight-division world champion and beloved national hero will have tens of millions of fans from the boxing-mad archipelago in his corner when he faces American Errol Spence in Las Vegas on August 21.

Pacquiao’s comeback fight is a chance to prove his mettle at 42 — an age when most boxers have already hung up their gloves — and score a lucrative payday before a widely expected tilt at the presidency next year.

“I’m a politician, all politicians are dreaming for the higher position,” the elected senator told AFP in his southern hometown of General Santos, where he is training.

“I’m going to announce (my decision) in the proper time, maybe after the fight.”

Pacquiao’s star power in a country famed for its celebrity-obsessed politics would put him in a strong position in the presidential race.

But it would not guarantee victory.

A public skirmish between Pacquiao and President Rodrigo Duterte over the latter’s handling of the South China Sea dispute with Beijing and official graft could erode support for the boxer.

Duterte — who is allowed to serve only one term as president — rivals Pacquiao for the affections of many Filipinos and has even flagged a possible run for the vice presidency in 2022.

Until recently, Pacquiao was a high-profile backer of Duterte and his controversial drug war, which International Criminal Court prosecutors want to investigate for the alleged unlawful killing of possibly tens of thousands of people.

Pacquiao told AFP he would continue the crackdown, but in a “proper way” that does not abuse “the rights of individuals”.

Asked if he would protect the current president from criminal charges if he became leader, he said: “All of us are bound to the law.”

Pacquiao would face a formidable opponent if Duterte’s daughter, Sara, were to run for the top job.

A recent poll showed the Davao city mayor — the same position her father held before he took power in 2016 — with the most voter support, well ahead of Pacquiao and other potential contenders.

But a lot can change between now and the October deadline for candidates to register.

“Right now my expectation is that (Pacquiao) runs, but not as Duterte’s chosen successor,” said Eurasia Group analyst Peter Mumford.

“But it’s the Philippines so it’s very unpredictable.”

Decisions on whether to retire after the Spence fight or run for the highest office are in God’s hands, according to Pacquiao, a father of five.

Religion looms large in the life of the boxer, who became a devout evangelical Christian about a decade ago after giving up his playboy lifestyle.

He even relies on his faith — and vitamin C — to ward off Covid-19 while he considers getting vaccinated against the deadly disease.

“I always keep in trusting God because he’s the one who give me the ability to accomplish all those things,” he said.

– ‘Idol of everyone’ –
Pacquiao is deeply admired in the Philippines for his generosity and hauling himself out of poverty to become one of the world’s greatest and wealthiest boxers.

Dozens of locals wait outside his gym in downtown General Santos in the hope of catching a glimpse of the rags-to-riches hero — and receiving some money — before he climbs into an olive green Hummer to drive back to his manicured compound.

“Pacquiao is the idol of everyone in this city,” said Meme Dipundato, a 40-year-old tricycle driver.

“What I really like about Pacquiao is not his boxing but his act of helping the poor.”

But the fighter has stirred controversy since entering politics in 2010 — first as a congressman and then a more high-profile position in the Senate — supporting the death penalty and describing gay couples as “worse than animals”.

He promises to pull no punches if he were to become president — starting with sending “hundreds or thousands” of crooked politicians to a purpose-built “mega prison”.

“There are so many problems in this country caused by corruption… there’s no economic growth and development, there’s no improvement,” he said.

– ‘I feel so hungry again’ –
For now, Pacquiao said his mind was focused on the looming showdown with fellow southpaw Spence, the 31-year-old unbeaten unified welterweight world champion.

Pacquiao, who boasts a 62-7-2 win-loss-draw record, will be fighting for the first time since he beat Keith Thurman in July 2019 for the WBA welterweight title — which he lost during the coronavirus pandemic due to inactivity.

He will fly to Los Angeles this month where he will be reunited with veteran trainer Freddie Roach.

In the meantime, he shadow boxes and spars with long-time associate Buboy Fernandez at his Pacman Wild Card Gym.

“I believe 110 percent that Manny is going to win. His stamina is still there,” Fernandez told AFP.

Hanging above the ring, along with photos of his bloody fights, are biblical proverbs on the importance of “self-discipline” and faith.

Despite his age and long absence from the ring, Pacquiao said he was undaunted.

“It’s good for me to have (a) rest for almost two years,” he said.

“I feel so hungry again and excited (for) the fight… I feel that same feeling that I had when I was at 22, 23 years old.”

Boxing Legend Pacquiao Wants To Fight NMA Star McGregor Next Year

Pacquiao, Roach At Loggerheads Over Reunion
File Photo of Manny Pacquiao/ AFP

 

Philippine boxing icon Manny Pacquiao wants to fight Irish mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor in the ring next year, an aide said in a statement Saturday.

“For the sake of all the Filipino Covid-19 victims, Senator Manny Pacquiao will be fighting UFC superstar Conor McGregor next year,” Pacquiao’s special assistant Jayke Joson said in a statement, adding negotiations are ongoing.

Pacquiao would donate a portion of his prize earnings to Filipino victims of the pandemic, Joson added.

AFP

‘Force At 40’: Philippines Goes Wild For Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao gets ready for the start of his WBA welterweight title fight against Keith Thurman at MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 20, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Steve Marcus/Getty Images/AFP

 

Fans in the Philippines roared their approval and rose to their feet Sunday, imitating the punches of Manny Pacquiao, as they declared that their idol was still a boxing force at the age of 40 with his stunning victory over American Keith Thurman.

Filipinos from street vendors to lawmakers went wild, pumping their fists in the air during the first round of the welterweight fight as Pacquiao floored the WBA champion 10 years his junior, and went on to win by split decision.

Despite Thurman’s threat to send Pacquiao into retirement in the Las Vegas showdown, fans of the eight-division world champion were thrilled to see him eat his words as they packed into gyms, military camps and movie theatres all over the country to watch the fight.

READ ALSO: Afghan President Seeks ‘Clarification’ After Trump’s War Comments

“It was wow, wow, wow! He is amazing. He showed himself a true Filipino, a hero,” 51-year-old Raquel Sanders told AFP after watching the bout in a Manila sports complex.

The excitement also lit up the online world with fans in the social media-obsessed nation using the hashtag #StillA40rce.

“Senator Pacquiao proved that age is just a number and (he) still can make another legend,” said Twitter user @rinrin_irene.

However, tragedy dampened the mood in Manila’s Marikina suburb where a 68-year-old fan collapsed as he was watching the bout in a gym. He was rushed to the hospital but declared dead on arrival, police said.

The man had a heart illness and could have gotten “excited” and “overjoyed” upon watching Thurman getting knocked down, Marikina police said, but added doctors had yet to issue a medical report.

Pacquiao is considered a national hero by many as his athletic feats have put the Philippines on the boxing map.

His rags-to-riches rise from high school dropout to millionaire champion is a source of inspiration in a nation mired in poverty.

In Pacquiao’s heyday, authorities said his fights stopped traffic and crime.

But Pacquiao, also an elected senator, stirred controversy when he entered politics as he endorsed the death penalty and issued gay slurs in 2016 for which he later apologised.

President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesman hailed his ally’s victory.

“Our pound-for-pound King did not show any signs of intimidation as he embodied what a Filipino spirit is all about – a fighter,” Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

Some Pacquiao fans said while their idol had proven his mettle, he showed signs of ageing.

“He can still fight but not a long bout because he gets tired. A younger fighter would have more endurance than an older fighter,” said Willieboy Ramos, 50.

Pacquiao, who reversed a 2016 decision to retire, repeatedly says boxing is his passion and he still feels young.

Philippine boxing chief Ed Picson said only Pacquiao could decide on his future.

“His place in world boxing as a legend is secure … He has nothing more to prove,” said Picson, secretary-general of the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines.

AFP

Manny Pacquiao Defeats Thurman To Capture WBA Crown

Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao (R) slams a right to the face of US boxer Keith Thurman during their WBA super world welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 20, 2019, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquiao won a 12 round split decision. PHOTO: John Gurzinski / AFP

 

Father Time may be undefeated, as the old boxing saying goes, but Manny Pacquiao is not going down without a fight.

The 40-year-old Filipino legend wrote another improbable chapter in his glittering career on Saturday, with an age-defying split decision victory over the hitherto unbeaten Keith Thurman.

Pacquiao, a full decade older than the 30-year-old Thurman, rolled back the years with a vintage performance that had a sold-out crowd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena roaring in delight.

It was the Filipino’s 62nd win of a 71-fight career that has spanned 24 years. Veterans at ringside described the performance as Pacquiao’s best since his dazzling win over Antonio Margarito in 2010.

Thurman, who had returned to boxing in January after a 22-month layoff, admitted he had not been able to cope with Pacquiao’s relentless energy.

Post-fight statistics told the story, with Pacquiao outpunching Thurman by 686 to 571.

A weary Thurman later said he had been chasing the fight from the moment he was sent crashing to the canvas by a stunning combination in the first round.

“He had a lot of momentum from that point,” Thurman said. “I ended up paying attention to the number of rounds. By the time we got to the seventh I was like ‘Damn, we’re in the seventh already’.”

 

‘So many wars’

Pacquiao’s experience and conditioning had proved crucial at key moments, Thurman added.

“He’s been in so many wars, he just knows what to do at the right time,” he said. “I had a good training camp but I felt like I needed a better output to go toe to toe with Manny Pacquiao.”

Thurman wasted no time after the fight in requesting a rematch.

While fans would happily line up for a sequel to what is a strong candidate for the fight of the year, Pacquiao’s camp were more circumspect.

Pacquiao, who paid tribute to Thurman’s “heavy hands” and punching power after the fight, pocketed an estimated $20 million from Saturday’s contest.

By recapturing a slice of the welterweight division in such dazzling style, he has thrust himself back into relevance.

Even more lucrative paydays are his for the asking if he chooses to pursue them.

A unification fight with Errol Spence Jr, the International Boxing Federation’s welterweight champion, would sell itself.

The question of a rematch of his 2015 “Fight of the Century” against Floyd Mayweather also continues to linger.

Mayweather, who was at ringside to watch Pacquiao’s masterclass on Saturday, remains firmly retired and has not fought since his cross-combat spectacle with mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor nearly two years ago.

Long rest

Leonard Ellerbe, the chief executive of Mayweather Promotions and a close confidant, said last week Mayweather has “zero interest” in a second Pacquiao fight. Whether that interest could be piqued by the prospect of a gargantuan payday remains to be seen.

Pacquiao, whose departure from Las Vegas for the Philippines was delayed until 6pm (0100 GMT) on Sunday as a precaution, suggested he will not fight again this year.

Long-time trainer Freddie Roach, meanwhile, told AFP that Pacquiao’s camp would take their time before choosing their next opponent.

“Someone just asked me ‘What’s next?’,” Roach said. “Well, you know what? We don’t need to think about what’s next for a while.

“Manny can go away and rest and we’ll think about it later on. We need to see what’s out there.”

Roach acknowledged however that he thinks a Mayweather sequel is unlikely to happen.

“I can’t see it,” Roach said. “Floyd’s retired and his people say there is no interest. But there will be other options.”

Roach, his usual calming presence in Pacquiao’s corner, was left reflecting on his fighter’s astounding energy levels.

“Manny never gets tired in the gym, but he got tired in the middle rounds tonight,” Roach told AFP. “I was keeping a close eye on it. But Manny is so fit he got through it and finished strong.

“I think he showed tonight that there’s plenty of boxing left in him, even if he is in his 40s.”

AFP

Pacquiao Batters Broner In Lopsided Welterweight Showdown

 

Manny Pacquiao proved that age is no obstacle on Saturday with a 12-round demolition of Adrien Broner, defending his welterweight title in his first fight on US soil in two years.

Pacquiao easily won with an impressive display of superior hand speed and destructive power that landed him a unanimous decision victory over the much younger American at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas.

The Filipino star almost knocked Broner down twice in the seventh and ninth rounds and showed that he can still be a force in the highly-competitive division despite turning 40 last month.

In his 70th fight as a professional, Pacquiao retains the lesser version of the WBA’s two welterweight belts and possibly sets the stage for a rematch with Floyd Mayweather, who watched the bout from ringside.

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Pacquiao improved to 61-7-2 with 39 knockouts, winning on all three judges scorecards including by a one tally of 117-111. The other two judges also had it onesided at 116-112.

Pacquiao started the onslaught in the seventh round by hitting his 29-year-old opponent with a left hook then immediately doubling it up.

Broner went into a shell mode, absorbing more blows but managed to hold on to the end of the round.

Pacquiao landed his best punch in the ninth with a blistering left on the chin that sent Broner backpeddling towards the ropes. But Broner showed he can take a punch as he stayed on his feet and survived another punishing round.

Pacquiao is now hoping to avenge his 2015 loss to Mayweather which became the richest one-day sporting event in history.

 

AFP

Pacquiao Turns 40 With Lavish Birthday Bash

This photo taken on December 17, 2018, shows Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte (C) attending the 40th birthday celebration of boxer Manny Pacquiao (3rd L) in General Santos City on the southern island of Mindanao. PHOTO: FERDINANDH CABRERA / AFP

 

Philippine boxing legend Manny Pacquiao said he is “stronger and faster” than ever ahead of his world title defence as he threw a lavish party with thousands of guests and a mass giveaway to mark his 40th birthday.

A car, pickup trucks and appliances were raffled off and President Rodrigo Duterte and celebrities were among the well-wishers at the all-night event, held at a sprawling shopping mall in his home city of General Santos.

“I feel stronger and faster, and by God’s grace I am wiser at 40, feeling 25,” Pacquiao said, making clear he’s looking forward to facing American Adrien Broner next month.

“I believe the best is yet to come. You have not yet seen the best of Manny Pacquiao,” he added.

The Filipino southpaw, 60-7 with two draws and 39 knockouts in a career that began in 1995, is to stake his World Boxing Association’s regular welterweight crown against Broner on January 19 in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao, the winner of an unprecedented eight world titles in as many weight classes, has continued fighting after reversing a decision to retire in 2016.

The rags-to-riches Pacquiao, who quit school and hawked food in the streets and later took up boxing in his teens to support his mother and his younger siblings, is also an elected Philippine senator.

“Boxing is my passion and public service is my mission,” he said, wearing a dark suit and fedora hat.

The Filipino won his last title by stopping Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse in July at Kuala Lumpur.

Speculation remains high that the Broner bout could be a warm-up for a sequel to 2015’s “Fight of the Century”, that Pacquiao lost to undefeated Floyd Mayweather on points.

A sedan and two pickup trucks as well as dozens of smaller prizes, like refrigerators, were raffled off at the party, which included a section that was open to the general public.

Entertainers put on a shadow play recounting the rise of the “people’s champ” from abject poverty to becoming a multi-millionaire who doled out free housing to the poor and visited sick people in the hospital.

Rock bands and gospel singers provided the music, children danced, and Pacquiao’s wife, Jinky, serenaded him with a ballad.

“We are so thankful. He never forgets to help us, his poor constituents,” said Sarah Bagas, a middle-aged street sweeper who lined up for her raffle ticket and food stub in mid-morning.

AFP

Pacquiao, Roach At Loggerheads Over Reunion

Pacquiao, Roach At Loggerheads Over Reunion
NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 19: Manny Pacquiao smiles during a press conference at Gotham Hall in preparation for his upcoming match against Adrien Broner on November 19, 2018, in New York City. Sarah Stier / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

 

Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao said Tuesday he hopes to be reunited with long-time trainer Freddie Roach for his January bout against Adrien Broner but admitted he had not spoken to the veteran cornerman about renewing their partnership.

Pacquiao ended a 16-year association with Roach ahead of his victory over Lucas Matthyse in Kuala Lumpur in July, breaking up one of boxing’s most famous double-acts.

However, the 39-year-old raised eyebrows during a press conference in New York on Monday when he said Roach would be back in his corner for his January 19 fight against Broner in Las Vegas.

Roach though expressed bemusement about Pacquiao’s announcement in remarks to Sports Illustrated, saying he had not been in contact with his former protege.

“I still have never directly spoken to Manny (since 2017),” Roach said.

“I’m not going to make a move until Manny calls me. I’ve been like a father to Manny for 15 years. If he can’t call me, there will be no deal.”

When asked to clarify the situation by AFP on Tuesday, Pacquiao said he hoped Roach would work as a “supervisor”, with long-time associate Buboy Fernandez taking a lead role in training.

“I don’t have any problem with Freddie Roach,” Pacquiao said at a media roundtable. “All I say is that I think the other work in training should be assigned or designated to Buboy.

“Freddie can supervise or instruct Buboy, this is what we’re going to do.”

When pressed on whether he had spoken to Roach, however, Pacquiao admitted that there had been no contact.

“We have scheduled to talk today,” he said. “My idea is to let Buboy handle the mitts, and (Freddie) should just supervise and correct the training situation, or techniques, or anything like that.”

Pacquiao said he plans to divide his training camp into two parts, with the first half taking place in the Philippines and the final part in the United States.

– ‘A long time ago’ –

He said Roach would play no part in the Philippines leg of his training camp. “He can just wait here,” he said. “I’ll be here next month in December.”

If Pacquiao and Roach are reunited, it will come after a striking and pronounced divorce.

Despite the father-son-like bond they had shared for over a decade, Pacquiao said he could not remember the last time he spoke to Roach, blaming demands of his role as a Senator in the Philippines for the rupture.

“It’s been a long time ago,” Pacquiao said. “A long time ago that I didn’t speak to Freddie. I was busy in the Philippines.

“I don’t even have time to come to the United States for a vacation for relaxation. It’s really busy being a Senator.”

Pacquiao, who turns 40 next month, has not fought in the United States for two years.

His last bout in Las Vegas in 2016 was a convincing victory over Timothy Bradley that had been billed as his retirement fight.

Pacquiao, however, told AFP that “loneliness” had prompted him to return to the ring.

“When I stopped boxing I just realised after watching some fights, I feel so lonely,” Pacquiao said.

“Despite my work in the Senate as a public servant, I really miss boxing. I feel lonely. Boxing is my passion, I grew up in boxing.”

Pacquiao, 60-7 with two drawn and 39 knockouts in a career that began in 1995, said he still hopes to negotiate a rematch of his 2015 super fight with Floyd Mayweather.

Mayweather, who won a fight widely regarded as a letdown, has frequently teased the possibility from his retirement.

Pacquiao said any move for a rematch would have to come from Mayweather.

“We met in Japan. I said ‘I’m the champion, I have the belt. It’s up to you if you want to come out of retirement and challenge me.’ I’m ready any time.”

AFP

Pacquiao Rematch Possible This Year – Mayweather

Mayweather and Pacquiao were expected to split about $230m (£150m) after their first meeting in 2015.

 

Former world welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather said Saturday he will face Manny Pacquiao later this year in a rematch of their 2015 superfight.

In a posting on Instagram, Mayweather said he will come out of retirement to fight Pacquiao, three years after scoring a comfortable points victory over the veteran Filipino.

“I’m coming back to fight Manny Pacquiao this year another 9 figure pay day on the way,” Mayweather wrote on Instagram. No further details were given.

A video accompanying the post showed Mayweather and Pacquiao talking to each other at an event but their exact exchange of words could not be heard clearly.

Mayweather earned an estimated $220 million from his first fight with Pacquiao, which finally took place after years of on-off negotiations.

Pacquiao earned around $100 million from the contest.

Mayweather retired later in 2015 after his 49th victory but returned to the ring last year for a lucrative victory over mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor.

The 41-year-old’s announcement on Saturday comes as Las Vegas prepared to stage the biggest fight of the year, the middleweight showdown between Gennady Golovkin and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.

While Mayweather’s remarks on Saturday are the latest in a long line of mischievous social media postings hinting at a comeback. Speculation about a rematch with Pacquiao has rumbled for years.

Pacquiao, who claimed to have been hampered by an injured shoulder in his first fight with Mayweather, has long talked enthusiastically about a rematch.

“Mayweather? If he decides to go back to boxing then that is the time we are going to call the shots,” he said in July.

“I have the belt, so it’s up to him. If he wants to come back in boxing let’s do a second one.”

Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 knockouts) made a return to the ring in July after a one-year absence, defeating Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse in the seventh round in Kuala Lumpur.

AFP