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Monday, November 9, 2009

Modest Manny shows who’s the real star

By Francis Ochoa
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 03:17:00 11/09/2009

Modest Manny shows who’s the real star

By Francis Ochoa
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 03:17:00 11/09/2009

Filed Under: Pacquiao, Boxing

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HOLLYWOOD—Overlooking the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street is a rectangular white billboard featuring an athlete flashing a serious look and wearing an all-weather hoodie.

The billboard rises, almost unobtrusively, from an obscure parking lot that is a stark contrast to the famous boulevard just around the next street bend, the one that shares its name with California’s most popular district.

The face on the billboard, though, is not as easy to ignore.

In fact, if the billboard wins the attention of passers-by, it is largely because the face is that of Filipino ring superstar Manny Pacquiao, who is preparing to rewrite sports trivia books as he guns for an unprecedented seventh weight title.

Like its nestling spot, the billboard—which foregrounds a larger but lesser lit Kobe Bryant wall advertisement—sits in the outer fringes of the altar that pays homage to Pacquiao’s fame.

There is the guesting in a nationally televised US talk show, the filming of a commercial with the biggest names of different sports and, lately, the front-page appearance of the respected Time magazine’s Asia version.

“I really liked it,” said Pacquiao, with a smile that gave off the feeling that he hasn’t fully comprehended the impact of his being the mainer of Time magazine.

That it happened in the midst of his preparation for his bout with Miguel Cotto reduced the hammer-hitting Puerto Rican further into a supporting role of the “Firepower” card’s pre-fight hype.

“It’s amazing,” Pacquiao said of everything that has happened so far. “I never expected any of this.”

His reply echoed his statement after Time announced him as its cover.

“I absolutely had no idea that when I started my career in boxing, to provide a better life for myself and my family, that I would now be where I am today and on the cover of Time magazine,” Pacquiao told Fightnews.com.

“A fighter’s dream is to win a world title and gain financial stability. But what is happening to me now is the most humbling experience of my life.”

Pacquiao is the first boxer in 20 years to be accorded the honor, after Mike Tyson.

Source: http://sports.inquirer.net/professional/professional/view/20091109-235111/Modest-Manny-shows-whos-the-real-star

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