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Monday, October 19, 2009

'There's only one Manny Pacquiao': Pacquiao Chronicles part 16

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After the biggest victory of his career against Oscar De la Hoya in December of 2008, Manny Pacquiao officially crossed over as boxing's biggest international superstar.

Not in the wildest dreams of even his most loyal and "hard-hugging" fans did anyone expect Pacquiao to reach such heights. With the victory over Dela Hoya, Pacquiao went from boxing superstar and a Filipino icon to a boxing legend and the face of the sport.

Whether his newfound status atop the sport's highest echelon would translate into revenue the way the man he unseated did, remained to be seen. But part of the perks of being the biggest star in boxing was that Pacquiao had the luxury to choose whoever in the sport he can prove his star power against.

The big Doritos chip on Pacquiao's shoulder from when he was a relative unknown fighter from across the Pacific was now replaced with a big target on his back as challengers from all shapes, sizes, colors and forms wanted a crack at boxing's new poster boy.

The biggest name and most financially lucrative opponent among a long list of intriguing match-ups was Mancehster, England's beloved slugger and universally recognized champion of the 140 lb. division, Ricky "The Hitman" Hatton. Hatton had the huge and loyal following that threatened to outdo even Pacquiao's fanatical fan base.

After disputes in the fight contract regarding the purse split, which put the match-up in jeopardy, Pacquiao and Top Rank promotions finally agreed with Ricky Hatton and Golden Boy Promotions to set the fight up for May 2, 2009. Pacquiao was reluctant to accept an even split and considered it as an insult because of his current status at the sport's best. And rightfully so, he had given up so much in his entire career just to get to the point he was at. He did not take any shortcuts, ergo he had to even take the harder and less traveled road. It was more than money, it was the principle.

Manny wanted what he deserved and would not stand to be told that the color of his skin nor the poverty of his country were enough reasons for him to take anything less that what he has worked for. The arguments of Hatton's camp was that Hatton would be bringing in more money due to pay-per-views in Europe as opposed to a relatively smaller amount coming from the Philippines which broadcasts Pacquiao's fights free on TV.

I could see where Hatton's camp was coming from, but how was he going to make any amount within the neighborhood of a Pacquiao fight with anybody else? Pacquiao was the attraction because of his status as the sport's best and Hatton himself was all too eager just to take on the challenge. It was also the fight his fans wanted to pay for and go see. It's simply a case of the "suits" working out kinks, and whenever a Pacquiao fight will be held against a Golden Boy promoted opponent, with Pacquiao's history with GBP on top of money, it's almost an expected occurrence.

Source: http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-10947-Indianapolis-Fight-Sports-Examiner~y2009m10d19-Theres-only-one-Manny-Pacquiao-Pacquiao-Chronicles-part-16

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