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By Gerry Peñalosa


THE 'FIREPOWER' CHRONICLES: DAY 1 IN LAS VEGAS

PhilBoxing.com
Thu, 12 Nov 2009



LAS VEGAS -- Good day, boxing fans. Malapit na malapit na ang "Firepower" boxing showdown between Pacquiao and Cotto, which is slated on November 14 and here's a short account of our trip to Vegas for the much awaited fight. Some boxing experts even claimed that this fight has completely overshadowed the recent Mayweather-Marquez fight.

We just arrived here in Vegas November 9 at about 9:30 pm. It was a very pleasant trip with 15 other vehicles including the now famous "Pacman Bus" which will be Manny Pacquiao's convoy from Los Angeles, California to Las Vegas, Nevada. The trip started at Wildcard Gym with the The Pacman riding in a Navigator car with Jinkee while I rode Rob's (Coach Freddie's assistant) hybrid car with my wife Goody and a friend Raymond Laguda, a business tycoon who hails from San Carlos City, Negros Oriental. Riding with me in the same car is Mayor Bing Leonardia. He was a very likable man and was the one requested to hold Manny's belt on entering the MGM Grand's boxing ring. We made a short stop over at a gasoline station, had dinner and went on with the trip. Everyone was happy. Manny is even game in exchanging jokes with everyone who joined the trip.

We made it to Las Vegas at 9:30 pm and there was a dinner setting which was prepared at Manny's suite in The Hotel at Mandalay Bay. We were greeted by Filipino friends who have perennially accompanied Manny through all his fights such as Gov. Chavit Singson, Gensan's foremost boxing fans Rey Golingan and Gauvain Benzonan, former basketeer Benjie Paras, Olympian boxer Onyok Velasco and Manny's buddy composer Lito Camo.

The atmosphere was highly charged with excitement. Everyone was optimistic and Coach Freddie and Manny are confident. Everyone was looking forward to a fight which will showcase the Pacman's speed, power, timing and heart. Everyone was hoping that we will leave Vegas and come home to the Philippines with the welterweight belt.

After the dinner, we all retired to our respective rooms. The next day, October 10... Manny started the day with a jog and only had light boxing exercises. Filipino boxing enthusiasts started arriving here in Vegas one by one. I we are very elated by the support shown not only by Filipinos but also by foreigners who believe that the Pacman can defeat Cotto. We are also expecting high percentage of HBO pay-per-view subscription as people all over the world really wanted to catch the explosive boxing bout as it happened, when it happened.

I believe that even though majority of the boxing experts picked Manny as the potential winner and Team Pacquiao is very optimistic on the outcome of the boxing match, prayers for Manny's victory is still needed. Cotto is not an easy foe. He holds an impressive boxing record, he has the power and he also got the backing of the entire Puerto Rico. Manny has been working so hard, he is focused and he is determined and he is in top shape and he is fast. I am optimistic that he will win this fight and when he wins... the entire Filipino nation will rejoice once more.

On another note, I had a very good conversation with the famous lawyer Atty. Romulo Macalintal over dinner at a Thai Resto in LA and I would like to say my "thank you" for spending 2 hours of conversation with me and my wife. We really appreciate your wit and wisdom especially on matters of politics. We'll be waiting for your arrival here in Vegas on Friday, Atty. Macalintal.

Ito po si Gerry Pe?alosa. Abangan po ninyo ang susunod pa na mga pangyayari sa aming US "Firepower" Trip. Hanggang sa muli!

Top photo (L-R): Bobby Pacquiao, Manny Pacquiao, Onyok Velasco, Ritchie Mepranum with Pacman the Dog during a morning jog in Las Vegas. Photo by Reiver Rodriguez.



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