There may well be no band of rooters-for-athletes who protect their favored son like Pacmaniacs do Manny.

After I wrote yesterday that Id like to see Pacquiao pick up the slingshot again, and head up another couple of pounds, to meet the middleweight titlist Sergio Martinez, who cemented himself in the pound for pound top five mix with his one shot sniping of Paul Williams on Saturday, a bunch of Manny fans gave me the business.

The flurries came fast, and hard. Id say I felt something like Antonio Margarito did on Nov. 13, but that isnt really true. Because many of the comments from the Manny protectors came from folks who seemingly didnt read much more than the headline, and for sure havent bothered to perform due diligence, and read a couple columns Id written about Manny previously. For if they had, they would know that I have nothing but respect, bordering on excessive for a journalist who needs to temper unrestrained admiration, lest it color his perceptions.

You are incredibly senseless my editor, read one of the attempted takedowns. Pacquiao is not stupid. He pays a lot of money to his advisers to work for him.

I went from senseless, to homicidal.

This writer wants to destroy Pacman, so when Pacman win over Sergio but suffered a lot of punishment from the big guy then this writer will be more than happy to bet on Mayweather vs Pacman coz Floyd will come out once he sees the opportunity.

Someone else accused me of having murderous urges: This circus needs to stop!!! Pacquaio is only human. All these writers and promoters are trying to kill Manny.

Another person, maybe unclear on the separation of our vocations, wrote:

You must try it yourself Mr Woods, fight with no catchweights if you know that your opponent is soooo much bigger than you are…what do you think? go…..try it. As of this time, the license to become a boxing writer doesnt call for spending time in the ring…though maybe it should. And I dabbled long enough to know it wasnt for me, and to increase my level of respect for practitioners tenfold…

And another dude must be someone I know! This writer is f—ing moron!


Heres another comment from a fan! This is terrible attempt at reverse psychology. This article is a double handed attempt (a feeble one at that). What is obviously missing in this article, and it is by design, is the fact that Manny Pacquiao is a natural 140 lbs while Martinez is a full blown 160 lbs. This writer wants to see Manny lose at all costs.

And was this his cousin? INSTIGATOR. This article sounds like it is urging somebody to do something destructive. Martines punch can be destructive on Pacquiao. I find this article instigating. Lacks sincerity. We call them in our lungage sulsol.

Heres one from somebody with a career in mind-reading. Youre not looking for Pac to slay another goliath, you just want to see him laid out by anyone so you can publish the article youve been hanging on to for years on how Pacquiao got exposed and how he doesnt belong among the greats.

And the kicker…The author of this article just showed his true colors…Woods is a pac-hater.

Glad yall got it out of your systems. We all need to vent, process the frustration. Better me than your pooch, I always say. But please allow me to clarify a bit, and maybe sway a couple of you so you dont finish reading, and still think I am a Manny hater.

First, heres some stuff Ive written before.

On Nov. 13: The worlds most marvelous multitasker showed he is a master of controlled violence but also that he has a heart as big as Baguio, when he backed off in the 12th, and let Margarito finish the fight.

On Nov. 4: I was fortunate enough to get 20 minutes on the phone with Manny Pacquiao before he left the Philippines to finish training camp in the States. I fired some Earnie Shaveresque queries at the Congressman, culled from message boards, and in typical fashion, he answered them with grace, humility and agility.

On Nov. 2: The worlds best fighter, a Congressman..AND blessed with vocal chords of gold. Can Manny Pacquiao be any more blessed? (NOTE: Tongue was a lil pressed into cheek regarding the voice, LOL.)

On March 14: It became apparent from minute one that Clottey owned no edge on the Filipino Fury. Pacquiaos movement, and hand speed, and stamina are simply on another level, and no one other than Floyd Mayweather, at this juncture, can test him seriously.

So, can we agree that I am not a Manny hater, never have been, hard to picture ever being able to be one.

OK, I dont mean to poke a stick into the hive, after an attempt at pacification, but is it possible that I believe in your idol more than you do? Because the guy Ive seen in the last couple of years gives problems to anyone from 135 pounds to 160. You read that right. I like Mannys skill set, and his agility and his confidence level so much that I think he is a favorite to beat most of the top ten at middleweight. Even if he comes in weighing 144 pounds. Now, am I saying he wouldnt suffer damage? No…Im not blinded by the mans powers. I do realize that he is mortal. But the protectors keep bringing up how he could get hurt if he keeps going up in weight. Well, Im not being flippant here, but this is the hurt game. And Manny has done quite well to stay off the injured reserve in recent years. He took some lumps from Margarito, for sure. But he dished out so much more than he ate. And I expect hed do the same against Martinez.

But maybe you protectors are still looking at me askance, still think maybe I took a payoff from a Mayweather backer, who wants Manny to take a beating, so hes softened up for Mayweather. If thats the case, maybe youll accept the take from someone who is better served to weigh in on the subject than any of us, Kermit Cintron. The ex welterweight champion fought Margarito in 2005 and 2008, and also fought Martinez, in February 2009.

I asked Cintron on Tuesday afternoon if he thinks Martinez would be too much for Pacman, if hes the sort of fighter who might put a hellacious, career changing beating on Pacquiao.

Manny can hang with Martinez, definitely, Cintron said. Sergio is the way better fighter than Margarito. I think Martinez would give Pacquiao a hell of a fight.

You get that? He doesnt think Pacman is in imminent danger of getting steamrolled by Martinez…especially if the Argentine is forced to make 155.

So, you think Martinez would NOT be too strong for Pacman? I dont think hed be too strong, Cintron continued. Hes a 154 pounder. I didnt find him that strong. Margarito was stronger, with his pressure. In power, I think Martinez and Margarito are equal.

So you think Martinez and Margarito are comparable physically?

Yes, I think so, he repeated.

Cintron pointed out that fresh in peoples minds is the devastating KO of Williams. But please note that in Martinez 50 fights, only 25 have come by stoppage. He has stopped 50% of his foes. This is not Julian Jackson, folks. This is a man whose best asset may well be his sterling ring generalship, not hands of stone.

Now, I havent heard from a Pacmaniac yet who doesnt want to see Manny fight Money. Dont any of you think just maybe Floyd could do some damage to Manny? Or do you see him, really, as a much lighter hitter than Martinez? Floyd has weighed 150 pounds in a fight, against Oscar in May 2007. Hes thickened up since then. Martinez weighed just 153 pounds in February 2009, against Cintron. Thats just a three pound separation. Now, I think Money often fights scared, like hes afraid to get hit, to lose, so Martinez in fact might be more likely to punish Manny if they fought. But ask yourselves this–wouldnt the man you want Manny to fight, Mayweather, be favored against Martinez? Of course he would be…

OK, the prosecution (or is it the defense?) rests.

Summing it up, Im not demanding Manny do anything. Im stating my preference, and offering my endorsement of a Pacquiao-Martinez fight. Thats all. I think this Goliath has the stones, and the skills, to beat Martinez.

SPEEDBAG Ive said this before and it bears repeating. We get quite a lot of comments from Pacman fans in which they refer to Gayweather. I dont care for it at all, and erase these comments when I see them. Michael Wood your such an idiot, why dont you ask to your people Gayweather to fight Martinez, Their almost the same size, such an idiot… one guy wrote me. Enough with the GAYweather slur, people. That doesnt play here…Do I need to explain why?

–Cintron told me hes staying in shape, and wont overdue the turkey and stuffing. His wife wont let him, he said. His promoter Lou Dibellas told him hed like to schedule a bout against Miguel Cotto, or perhaps Sergiy Dzinziruk.

—Cintron thinks Mayweather would hit Pacquiao much more than hes used being hit, and likes Money to get the win, by a pretty close margin.

–Cintron is with Manny, and doesnt want to watch a third fight between Manny and JMM. Hes seen Marquez drop off, and believes Manny would dominate Marquez at this point in time.

–For the record: I love fan feedback. Its what make this site, largely, what it is. It forces me to think harder, and write better. Thanks for reading, all of you, and taking the time to comment. —So, Manny-Marg did 1.15 million PPV buys, preliminarily, and Pacman matched Mike Tyson as the only fighter in pay-per-view history to generate at least 1 million buys for a fight in three years straight. Whaddya make of it? Did you think the fight would do more, and surpass Mayweather-Mosley (1.4 million)? Hey, it did much better than Manny-Clottey (700,000)…