Ten weeks before Manny Pacquiao is to meet Juan Manuel Marquez, Pacman gets a blessing from a priest before he files papers to run again for Congress. The boxer-politician, we see on the second episode of HBO’s 24/7, is running against no one, so his re-election should go rather smoothly and we can expect that he’ll get more than 47% of the vote.
Pacman’s wife Jinkee will run for vice governor, in this, her first foray into the arena. “Our goal is to help,” she says when asked what her aim is. Are they building towards a Clintonian arc?
In Mexico City, past 4 AM, JMM is at the gym. He starts official camp in a week, and has Angel Heredia, his s and g coach, present for a workout. JMM says starting up is always hard. His 14 year old and 7 year old sons watch over pop. The little guy slings some barbells as pop gives tips. He does a speed and agility circuit workout, and bless him, at 39, he is looking peppy as anything. “I don’t feel like I’m 39, I feel like I’m 25,” he says. “I’ll know it’s time to retire when I don’t feel the same.”
The JMM gang hits a kids b-day party for a family friend. His wife tells us that everything he does, he says he does for the kids.
Back in the tuna capital of the Phillpines, General Santos City, Manny jogs three miles, with the missus in the running crew. Then he does volleyball, and badminton, followed by two hours of pickup hoops. He says he likes the variety to spice up his life. No wandering eye jokes, please, friends…
We see clips from Manny’s fight versus Tim Bradley. Freddie Roach said he thought he saw some improvement in Manny from the last Marquez fight. “He definitely took his foot off the gas,” Roach said of Manny’s finish. Then the judges spoke…Roach said the close card shocked him, and the Bradley cards really messed with him. “What sport is this?” Manny said to himself after the “loss.”
Manny told Freddie that as he predicted, Bradley would run from him, in the dressing room afterwards. Manny’s mom is seen in tape calling for a rematch with Bradley, as Manny, at another location, asks her to calm down.
Manny says he doesn’t have to prove to anyone that he beat Bradley, and that’s why he went for Marquez again. I do wonder if he will ever face off with Bradley again…Do you think he will, readers? Weigh in, in our Forum, please.
In Mexico City, Marquez is seen on ESPN Deportes. He predicts, correctly, that Brandon Rios will beat Mike Alvarado. At home, he talks about the need for good security. He says that he grew up “very poor” and is happy he can give his kids financial security.
In Manilla, we see a b-day party for six year old Princess Pacquiao. He hoofs gangnam style, and it is recalled the couple was struggling before with marital woes. “Now, he is a different Manny,” Jinkee says. Manny pushes camp off two weeks, we hear.
Then, we see the fighters, good family men, invested in the home front and the unions there, get into rumble mode. They need to be good soldiers at home, and are dutiful husbands and fathers…but also warriors, who need to test themselves harshly and heavily.
Next time, we will see training camp footage, Pacman re-uniting in LA with Roach, and Marquez working with trainer Nacho Beristain.