In Boxing News: All the Phillipines Backs Manny Pacquiao

Tons of Manny Pacquiao and Erik Morales news in the boxing press today. The Arizona Republic highlights – which for me – is one of the really unique angles of this fight: it would seem an entire naton is holding its breath for Pacquiao: The Philippines has a national treasure, but forget about Imelda Marcos’ shoes. Manny Pacquiao is the crown jewel. The Pacific nation’s extraordinary love affair with a 130-pound fighter goes beyond anything ever witnessed by his trainer, Freddie Roach, or even Bob Arum, who was on the front lines of hero worship during his days as Muhammad Ali’s promoter. Of course, Erik Morales deserves equal billing in all of this. Tim Smith of the New York Daily News provides some background as to why Erik Morales is no longer being trained by his father.

The bottom line is that it is because of fighters like Morales and Pacquiao that I watch the sport. They are small men, but they are both small men with b**** like church bells. While we read daily about other fighters fighting over 60-40 splits instead of fighting in the ring, Pacquiao and Morales embody what the sport should be about. Tomorrow can’t come quick enough.

The Tampa Tribune has an interesting series on the role of the promoter in boxing and, specifically, whether HBO should really be considered a promoter. It’s well worth the read. The Tribune also takes a look at Winky Wright’s foray into the promotional game. Says Winky, boxing needs a new generation of promoters who are looking out for the fighters, not people out there just trying to make a buck. We’re in it to make money, but we want to make sure fighters are taken care of. The Grand Rapids Press, meanwhile, looks at would-be promoter Floyd Mayweather: while Floyd Mayweather ultimately hopes to establish a boxing promotional company to cut out the middleman and deal directly with HBO himself, he is getting an interim lesson from the sport’s two most prominent promoters, Bob Arum and Don King, in how to mitigate a pay-per-view event of dubious quality.

As always, lots more Boxing News links at