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List of Articles by Jason Aniel



PACMAN HAS THE HOMECOURT ADVANTAGE IN THE BAY!

By Jason Aniel
PhilBoxing.com
03 Jun 2008



San Francisco, CA — What was supposed to be the Bay Area stop in the promotion tour, promoting the June 28 PPV bout between Lightweight titlist, David Diaz, and challenger, Manny Pacquiao, turned into the “Pacman Festival” as hundreds of Filipinos packed into the Westwind School to catch a glimpse of their “Idol”. This was confirmed by Diaz who joked to the large crowd in the gym, who stood for several hours before Pacquiao’s noon entrance, “I know you guys are here to see me and not Manny.”

Diaz has played his part in the promotional tour perfectly. Although he will admit to being the clear underdog of this, his determination and hungry to pull off the upset is also clear. Diaz has worked his entire career for this type of opportunity to stamp his name in boxing history.

For Pacquiao, the chaos and uncontrolled fan fare seems to motivate him to work even harder. For about 12 three-minute rounds, Pacquiao worked the boxing mitts with his trainer Freddie Roach, worked the speedball, shadow boxed, and skipped ropes. Those who witnessed Pacquiao train for the first time was amazed by stamina the three-division champion displayed. A group of on lookers, who were not Filipino and were not familiar with Pacquiao, could not believe that Pacquiao can go 6 minutes straight skipping rope.

Pacquiao garnered the loudest cheers when he went a full round, without stopping, throwing rapid combinations on the boxing mitts. After a representative of San Francisco Giants presented Pacquiao, Roach, and boxer Ana Julaton (who makes the Westwind School her home gym) with authentic team jerseys, Pacquiao spent over an hour signing hundreds of boxing gloves for his fans.

Pacquiao then did interviews for the San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury, Channel 4 KRON news, among others at a media gathering at a local restaurant. Pacquiao’s night concluded when he graced a private gathering/rally at the Manila Star Restaurant in South San Francisco.

The Bay Area has a special place in Pacquiao’s heart, as it’s the first city he visited in 2001 when he left the Philippines in hopes for a title shot. While Pacquiao spent a day in Chicago, he spent the weekend in San Francisco and invited many of his team members in Los Angeles to accompany him. If ever Pacquiao truly wants a home court advantage in a future fight, the Bay Area may be the place for him. As San Jose Mercury Columnist, Tim Kawakami, wrote in column, “The Bay Area's No. 1 fighter isn't from this hemisphere, doesn't live or train here…”

Pacquiao’s next stop is in San Diego this weekend for a press conference. There is no workout scheduled for either fighter in San Diego.

NOTES FROM THE BAY

It looks likely that IBF Flyweight champion, Nonito Donaire, will fight on the undercard when Dimitri Kirilov defends his IBF Super Flyweight title against the man Donaire took the title from, Vic Darchinyan, on August 2. It may be Donaire’s last title defense at 112lbs as he plans to move up to the “red-hot” 115lbs division, which features some of the best fighters in the world like Christain Mijares and Fernando Montiel. More importantly for Donaire, fighters at 115lbs are willing to fight to each other!…Rising Jr. Featherweight contender, Bernabe Conception, will next see action on the undercard of the Miguel Cotto-Antonio Margarito super fight on July 26…Even though he trains in L.A., Pacquiao likes the Boston Celtics to win the NBA championship over Lakers.


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