Manny Pacquiao Roundtable

By Robert Ecksel on February 24, 2012
Manny Pacquiao Roundtable
Pacquiao was smiling and serene, as composed as the Buddha (Chris Farina/Top Rank)

There were no softball questions. There were feather questions, air questions, questions like lace or musical notes…

Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley hit the Big Apple this week. At a press conference at The Lighthouse, a waterfront restaurant on the Hudson River commandeered for the event, the fighters and their handlers looked good, spoke good, and ate good.

Easing himself into a chair at the Pacquiao roundtable after the formal press conference, Manny was as composed as the Buddha. Serene and smiling, a man at peace and of few words, he spoke of boxing, as he spoke of the bible, in a discrete and welcoming manner.

If you were to meet him in another context you would never know he was a fighter.

Pacquiao is used to the attention and handles it like a pro. There were no softball questions. There were feather questions, air questions, questions like lace or musical notes. They floated toward Manny with the elegant grace of snowflakes falling from the sky. Things don’t grind to a halt when Pacquiao is in the room. It’s more like time evaporates. Everyone treated the champion with all due respect. But Pacquiao doesn’t advertize. He sits back and emanates.

Manny said he has “Maybe two, three fights,” before he retires. “My kids—the youngest one is 11 years old. He said, ‘Daddy, I want you to retire. But before you retire I have one request.’ I told him, ‘What is that?’ ‘Give me one fight. You just fight and beat Mayweather, and then you retire.’ I want that fight to happen. Even my kid wants it. The problem is he really doesn’t want the fight, maybe not this time. Maybe some other time he’ll want the fight. Hopefully we’ll fight before I’m retired. I’m hoping for a November fight.”

Seated to Manny’s left, I asked about the phone call with Mayweather that didn’t go as we had hoped.

“Last time I spoke with Floyd he called me in the Philippines. I told him, ‘Let’s make this fight happen. I’m happy with 50/50 and whatever you request for the blood test thing, no problem, as long as you agree with 50/50.’ And he said, ‘Let’s do this and no more pay-per-view for you.’ Then after that I gave it to my people.

“As long as I am still boxing,” Manny said, “there is hope we will fight someday. But he is making a statement that I’m the one who doesn’t want the fight. God bless, I will pray for him. It’s okay if he has a bigger guarantee and I’m a small guarantee. But it’s a 50/50 world. That’s the ceiling of the pay-per-view.”

Standing behind Pacquiao was his advisor Michael Koncz. “Matter of fact,” said Koncz, “the final offer was better than that. After Manny had talked to him on the phone, he gave me an instruction to go back. The final offer was a $50 million guarantee and a split of the revenue will be 45/55. Manny says, ‘Let’s make it a prizefight, and so the winner will get a prize, an extra ten percent.’ And it didn’t work.”

Mayweather’s fight with Miguel Cotto is attracting equal if not more attention than Manny’s fight with Tim Bradley.

“Oh,” said Pacquiao, “that’s a good fight, Floyd and Cotto. He thinks Cotto is an opponent. But he is not. Cotto is a good boxer and he is strong. So Floyd needs to train for Cotto, because he is strong. Big chance, big chance that Cotto will win the fight. I hope he’ll win but the fight is not easy.”

No fire and brimstone preacher man, when asked why he believes in the bible, Manny whispered, as if to himself, “We need to have the bible to have faith in God. We need to read it because it is the manual to our life to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. If we want an internal life, we have to read the bible, so we know how to follow His commandments. Because without God, we’re not here in this world.”

Follow us on Twitter@boxing_com to continue the discussion

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  1. Bob Rosenberg 02:59pm, 06/06/2012

    Bradley is just another opponent for Pacman. His young boxing skills might frustrate Pacquaio at first but soon the combinations will come fast and furious and Bradley will feel the bone crushing results as he quickly caves in…he’s not in Pacquaio’s league…don’t be fooled.

  2. sam myers 05:40pm, 06/03/2012

    timothy bradley!!!

  3. Jimmy 01:25am, 03/03/2012

    Pacquiao and Bradley are both great boxers and genuine good guys. They represent boxing thr way it should be represented. They have the class Mayweather doesn’t have. I believe Pacquiao is the greatest fighter of our time and true hero for our children to look up to.

  4. the thresher 06:55am, 02/25/2012

    Co-sign Frankie

  5. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo 08:58pm, 02/24/2012

    Robert-Up close and personal! Great job! He appears serene and self assured just as you report. He seemed anything but on the way to the ring to face JMM that night….for some reason….maybe the pressure not so much of losing to JMM…..but what that loss would mean….the loss of the mega bucks fight with Mayweather….he is only human after all.

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