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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pacquiao draws fans and money to Las Vegas

abs-cbnNEWS.com | 11/12/2009 12:52 PM

MANILA – Pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao once again proved to be a crowd drawer as fans mobbed him in Las Vegas, Nevada.

City officials even noted that Pacquiao has boosted tourism in the “Fight Capital of the World.”

Fans swarmed around the Filipino boxing superstar at the MGM Grand Garden Arena during his official grand arrival in “Sin City.” He is set to clash with Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).

A Pacquiao supporter declared: "First round, that's how confident I am in Manny. Pinoy power all the way... tunay!"

According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), the city earned $10.7 million in May due to the fight between Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton of Britain.

A total of 16,000 attendees watched the “Battle of East and West” where Pacquiao won via knockout in the second round.

The LVCVA said it expects the Pacquiao-Cotto bout to have more than 15,000 spectators and millions of earnings to Las Vegas despite the economic crisis in the US.


Pacquiao went back to work in Las Vegas as he held a workout at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) track.

His trainer, Freddie Roach, reportedly wanted Pacquiao to take it easy, but “the Pacman” could not be stopped. He finished 12 rounds at the oval in a quick pace.

The six-time world champion said he was really feeling good about his condition.

Asked if he is feeling pressured as the fight nears, he said: “Pressure kung iisipin mo…Huwag mo isipin basta ako excited... Isipin natin na ...this is it!”

He even showed off his power punches. “It’s like a horse... When you open the gate...poom... See ya,” said conditioning coach Alex Ariza.

Pinoy pride

The Filipino prized fighter’s supporters are also feeling “the Pacman fever” in Las Vegas. They could not contain their excitement as fight night is just around the corner.

Fans have been purchasing souvenir items such as T-Shirts, boxing gloves and “Firepower” posters.

“We support anything, any Filipino that gives us pride for our country,” said Rachel Amrosio, a Pinoy from Vancouver, Canada.

Employees at a Pinoy restaurant in Las Vegas, meantime, are gearing for a busy night on Saturday. They have been flooded with orders from people who will watch the fight and hold parties in their homes.

“Nakakatulong talaga si Manny o ang Pacquiao fight sa mga Pilipino business dito sa Las Vegas dahil of course, dinadayo ng mga tourist halos lahat ng mga restaurant lalo na yung mga nagpapalabas nang fight ni Manny ay punung-puno kahit saan,” stated restaurant manager Maria Summerfield.

Runaway favorite

Race and sports books in casinos also sell like hotcakes every time Pacquiao has a fight.

“The People’s Champ” is said to be the runaway favorite in Las Vegas casinos. A $300 on Pacquiao will win $100.

Cotto, meanwhile, is considered as the underdog even if he will defend his WBO welterweight championship on Saturday. A $100 bet on Cotto will win $180.

Glenda Bunggaw, who is pregnant, said she bet on Pacquiao when the odds were still low. Even if her bet will just yield a small amount, she said her bet symbolizes her support for Pacquiao.

“The more na palapit yung game, mas llamado si Pacquiao so probably di natin alam but so far, sa date na tinaya naming, $130,” said Bunggaw.

Rita Prospero, on the other hand, bet $500. She will get $300 if Pacquiao defeats Cotto. “Pag nanalo naman si Pacquiao, sikat naman tayong Pilipino,” she remarked.

The props betting, meantime, will be opened on Friday for the predictions on up to how many rounds a boxer will last. – With reports from Dyan Castillejo, ABS-CBN News and Bev Llorente, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Source: http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/sports/11/12/09/pacquiao-draws-fans-and-money-las-vegas

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