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Lamont Peterson derails Amir Khan’s quest to face Floyd Mayweather next year

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by Leo Reyes

Lamont Peterson stood in the way to Amir Khan’s quest for a mega fight with unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Saturday night when the once homeless kid from Washington, D.C. snatched his twin titles in what appears to be a hometown decision.

Taking advantage of hometown crowd, Washington, D.C. native Lamont Peterson scored a split decision over the highly-rated British boxing idol Amir Khan at the Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Saturday.

Although Peterson was knocked down by Khan in the first round, the former WBO light welterweight titleholder managed to survive the relentless assault by the British star.

The decision drew criticism from Khan’s camp as the referee deducted two points from Khan for pushing. The fight could have been decided by the judges in favor of Khan if it were not for the point deductions. With the controversial win, Peterson becomes the current unified WBA and IBF light-welterweight champion.

After the fight, Khan said : “When you come to someone’s home town you start off two points down anyway before the first bell goes.

“We all know who won that fight, even some of the commissioners said it was a disgusting decision. But I’m ready to fight Peterson any time and anywhere — tomorrow if necessary.”

“Maybe we should have the next fight in Las Vegas or if Peterson really has got balls then let’s make it in England.” Khan added.

For his part, Peterson said “I would not mind going to his home town for a fight but it has got to be the right deal and everything else has to be right.

“I have no worries about giving him a rematch — after all Khan gave me a crack at the title so why shouldn’t I give him the chance to win it back?”

The judges scorecard for the weekend title fight showed two American judges scoring the fight 113-112 for Peterson while the Puerto Rican judge scored it 115-110 in favor of Amir Khan.

It is no secret Khan has been eyeing a lucrative fight with Floyd Mayweather, Jr. in what could have been the biggest and most lucrative fight of his career.

And with his controversial loss to Peterson, his quest for a career-defining fight with Mayweather has become more uncertain at this time.

Rey ‘BoomBoom” Bautista scores impressive KO win over Mexican Miguel Angel Mendoza

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by Leo Reyes

Rey “BoomBoom” Bautista of the Philippines scored an impressive win over undefeated Mexican knockout artist Miguel Angel Mendoza at the Hoops Dome, Lapu-Lapu City, Philippines Saturday.

Bautista engaged the undefeated Mexican in a powerful exchange of punches starting on the very first round as the Bohol native threw power shots that sent Mendoza reeling down the canvas twice, leaving the Mexican with a bloody nose at the end of the round.

In the second round, the Mexican slugger came in strong and surprised Bautista with body and head shots that had him in trouble as the round ended.

Fireworks began in the third round when both fighters exchanged power shots as Bautista punished the unbeaten Mexican by inflicting severe damage on his left eye.

Heated exchange of blows continued in the fourth round but Mendoza was hit by accidental low blow which sent him to the canvas. The referee. Atty. Danrex Tapdasan, gave the Mexican time to recuperate as they continue to finish the round.

In the fifth round, it was obvious the Mexican was running out of gas and his corner were seen almost ready to give up.

As Mendoza was troubled by his eye injury, he hit Bautista with low blows in the sixth round as he had difficulty with his vision.

Despite of the low blows, Bautista was able to defend himself and a power left hook caught and stunned Mendoza, sending him down as referee Tapdasan counted him out.

It was Mendoza’s first taste of defeat in his professional boxing career which is highlighted by a perfect knockout record.

With Bautista’s impressive victory, another shot at a major world title is imminent for the Candijay, Bohol native.

Publisher Pacquiao

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by Manny Piñol
Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, who is also the Congressman from Saranggani, the TV host, the singer, the basketball player, the billiards shark and many more, is taking on a new persona - a media mogul.

To start his venture into the communications business, Pacquiao has already established a radio station in General Santos City which he hopes will be the first of the projected 100 or so radio stations that will be set up all over the Philippines after he has acquired a congressional franchise to operate a radio network.

In the first quarter of 2012, a new international boxing magazine, “The Boxing World Quarterly,” which will be printed by a new multi-million peso printing press that Pacquiao has opened also in General Santos City and managed by his wife, Jinkee, will be published with an initial circulation of 30,000 copies.

BWQ, the quarterly boxing magazine, while printed in the Philippines, will have international writers from all over the world and will be distributed worldwide through mail order and during the Pacman’s big fights in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao has asked me to be the editor-in-chief of this new magazine and I accepted on the condition that there will be no employer-employee relationship and that I will handle the project only in its infancy and turn it over to a more experienced editor when the time comes for me to move on in life.

To support me in the publication of this boxing magazine, I have taken in my former colleagues in journalism, including those who at times were critical of Pacquiao.

Respected sports columnist Recah Trinidad of the Philippine Daily Inquirer will be the real editorial workhorse as he will act as the Editor of the magazine.

Former Inquirer sports editor Al S. Mendoza is on board while I also intend to extend invitations to Philippine Star columnist Quinito Henson, www.philboxing.com writer Eddie Alinea, writer-photographer Dong Secuya who owns www.philboxing.com and The Manila Standard columnist Ronnie Nathanielsz to join the magazine’s editorial staff.

Manny initially reacted when I mentioned the name of Nathanielsz, who was very critical of his last fight against Juan Manuel Marquez, but I prevailed on him by telling him that the magazine should carry diverse views in the sport.

With the help of American boxing writer Keith Terceira, we were able to recruit international boxing writers and the list of correspondents includes the husband and wife team of Butch Gottlieb and Mary Ann Owen, who both own the popular website “Boxing in Las Vegas,” James Blears in Mexico, Ace Freeman in Canada, Jonny Stapleton in the Great Britain, Thomas Newman in Germany, Ryan Songalia in New York and Dr. Ed dela Vega in Los Angeles, California.

More international writers are expected to join the editorial staff as the new boxing magazine moves on.

“This will be my legacy to the world of boxing,” Pacquiao told me when he approved the idea of publishing a new boxing magazine.

Pacquiao and I agreed that the new magazine should not compete with the established The Ring Magazine which is published by his former opponent the Golden Boy, Oscar dela Hoya.

The new magazine will just present the other side of boxing that the US-based The Ring has failed to cover, especially boxing in Europe, the USSR, Australia, South Africa, Asia and the southern part of South America.

For the first issue, the cover story will be an exclusive interview with Manny Pacquiao and his plans for the future and what he sees of his life beyond boxing. The cover photo will be a computer generated composite of the many personalities of Pacquiao.

Early on, I am already having a lot of challenges working with a personality whose mind is on a lot of concerns and whose attention span is very limited owing to the many activities in his life.

But I love the challenge and relish the opportunity of being able to give my word of advice to one of the most bull-headed personalities I have known in my entire life.

For example, he gave me a long look when I told him that I believe that the radio station that he set up in General Santos City could have been overpriced, a comment which earned a positive reaction from his wife, Jinkee.

“I have long suspected that. I will look into that,” Jinkee told me in front of Manny.

So, here comes Manny Pacquiao on a new path in life en route to becoming a communications magnate.

If no Mayweather, pound-for pond king Manny Pacquiao has three more options for his next fight

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by Leo Reyes

Right after the Pacquiao vs. Marquez trilogy fight last Nov.12 which ended in a controversial win for the pound-for pound king, boxing fans have turned their attention to the selection of Pacquiao’s next opponent.

In one of the latest online polls conducted by a prestigious boxing site, around 65% of the respondents in the online survey said Pacquiao’s next opponent would be Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

The public interest generated by Mayweather’s announcement about his ring return next May against an opponent who he did not name but was widely acknowledged as Pacquiao, has reinforced the survey findings that indeed the most talked about fight will be take place next year.

But very recent developments on the status of negotiations, point to a stituation where both Pacquiao and Mayweather could be facing separate opponents in May next year.

Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum assures the public there will be a Pacquiao vs. Mayweather fight, but it does not necessarily mean that the fight will be staged in May.

Arum seems to be looking at November 2012 for the Pacquaio vs. Mayweather fight, saying Pacquiao’s injury during his fight with Marquez won’t heal in time for the proposed May encounter with Mayweather.

But the truth seems to be that Arum wants a fourth fight with Marquez in May next year. Boxing fans wonder how Arum could justify his injury alibi for Pacquiao if he fights Marquez in May next year.

Arum’s third option would be Top Rank newcomer Timothy Bradley, who has just exhibited impressive performance over Cuban Joel Casamayor in the undercard of the Pacquiao vs. Marquez fight in Las Vegas last Nov. 12.

Arum’s other option for Pacquiao’s next opponent would be ex-Pacquiao foe Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto.

After demolishing Antonio Margarito during their grudge rematch at the Madison Squae Garden in New York, the Puerto Rican slugger has called on Pacquiao right after the fight for a rematch.

The proposed rematch seems acceptable to boxing fans on the basis of Cotto’s sterling performance over Margarito las Dec. 3.

Pacquiao can face any of the three aspirants in May as a prelude to the most-awaited Pacquiao vs. Mayweather match before the end of 2012.

Pacquiao, Mayweather could announce fight agreement in principle before Christmas

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by Leo Reyes

Filipino boxing star Manny Pacquiao and undefeated champion Floyd Mayweather, Jr., may announce a fight agreement in principle as Christmas gift to millions of boxing fans around the world who are getting impatient and restless after more than two years of failed negotiations.

Recent developments point to a possible breakthrough in negotiations as emissaries of both camps have met face to face to discuss the financial requirements of what appears to be the biggest and most lucrative fight in boxing history.

After the Saturday night brawl between Antonio Margarito and Miguel Cotto at the Madison Square Garden, boxing fans expect Top Rank Promotions owner Bob Arum to turn his full attention to the on-going talks, with Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz doing the preliminaries.

Boxing insiders and promoters believe the fight of this magnitude and with a reserved play date, must be sealed early to give more time for marketing efforts to maximize revenues via massive promotional campaign for more pay-per-view buys.

Last week Arum told dzbb Manila radio his company has been talking with some investment groups that could bankroll the huge funding needs to the mega fight.

“We have been working diligently talking to investment groups,” Arum told dzBB. He said there’s no date yet for the fight, but what’s important is to get the ball rolling first.

“I don’t know when. That’s to be determined. We have to see if the people talking to us (can) come up with the money and we have to see if it’s acceptable to both sides. So it’s one step at a time. But these things take time,” he said.

The initial expectation from boxing fans who were made to believe that a Pacquiao vs. Mayweather fight could be set for May 5, has been recently dampened by news from Arum, who said the fight may take place later in 2012. ” It doesn’t have to be May 5, Arum said.”

“If Floyd wants to fight Pacquiao, maybe another day is preferable, given the fact that Pacquiao had a serious cut in the last fight, so there is no magic in May 5th, but there is magic in Pacquiao-Mayweather fight,” Arum added.

But due to the mounting pressure being exerted by media and fans as well and with Arum’s commitment that the fight will take place next year, the parties may just give in to the wishes of boxing fans and make the announcement before the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Manny Pacquiao officially confirmed as Lieutenant Colonel in Philippine Army Reserve Force

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by Leo Reyes

WBO welterweight champion and Philippine Congressman Manny Pacquiao has just been confirmed as Lieutenant Colonel in the reserve force of the Philippine Army in ceremonies held Monday at the the Philippine Army Headquarters in Fort Bonifacio.

Last September 21, Pacquiao was appointed to the military post by Philippine President Benigno Aquino. Previously, Pacquiao held the rank of Sgt. Major in the Army reserve force.

Pacquiao’s promotion as Lieutenant Colonel was questioned by some quarters because he does not have a college degree which is one of the requirements for the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

But Acting Army Spokesman Major Harold Cabunoc said Pacquiao’s new rank is not a promotion but “an appointment in accordance with Republic Act 7077″ or the AFP Reservist Act of 1991

In his speech during the ceremonies, Congressman Pacquiao said, he will take his role seriously as part of the reserve force of the Philippine Army.

“I want to take my role and responsibility to higher ground, to compensate for the discomfort I probably caused the Philippine Army family when some personalities questioned my commissionship as lieutenant colonel,” Pacquiao said.

“Obviously, I am not trained for military operations, but it should be emphasized that reservists, by their true nature, are civilian provisional first and military personnel second,” he added.

The fighting congressman of the Philippines has just completed his trilogy bout against Mexican counter-puncher Juan Manuel Marquez which ended in a controversial majority decision in favor of the reigning WBO welterweight champion.

Pacquiao, who plans to run for governor of Sarangani province in next local elections, said negotiations are ongoing for his long-awaited mega fight with unbeaten champion Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

Earlier, Mayweather’s adviser Leonard Ellerbe said Mayweather has reserved MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada as the venue for his next fight which is set tentatively for May 5.

Recent pronouncements from both camps indicate the contract for the most-awaited fight will be finalized right after the Christmas season—with both fighters getting at least $75 million each.

Former Manny Pacquiao foe Miguel Cotto wins in rematch with Antonio Margarito

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by Leo Reyes

Former Manny Pacquiao foe, Puerto Rican slugger Miguel Cotto, scored a sweet victory over his most-hated opponent, Mexican Antonio Margarito, Saturday night at the Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Margarito who suffered a fractured orbital bone on his right eye during his fight with Pacquiao early this year, lost to Cotto via TKO after ring doctors stopped the fight before the start of the 10th round due to serious damage to his surgically-repaired right eye.

Cotto was ahead on points when the referee stopped the fight on instructions from ring doctors.There were no knockdowns during the fight.

Margarito’s handlers have tried to persuade ring authorities to let Margartio continue despite his swelling right eye but the verdict of the doctors was final.

In the early rounds Cotto started targeting Margarito’s surgically-repaired right eye until it began to swell in the later rounds, prompting the ring physicians to stop the fight before the start of the 10th round.

In 2008 Cotto suffered his first loss in his professional career in the hands of Margarito via 11th round TKO in a bloody fight held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The following year, Margarito was caught with illegal substance in his hand wraps a few minutes before he entered the ring during his fight with Shane Mosley at the Staples Center, California, in 2009.

After the illegal hand wraps incident in 2009, Margarito’s license to fight in California was suspended along with his trainer Javier Capetillo after a thorough investigation by the state regulating agency.

Because of his suspension that was triggered by the illegal hand wraps, boxing insiders and critics speculated the same may have been used by Margarito in their first encounter.

Cotto’s victory over Margarito was particularly significant for Cotto after suffering a difficult and bloody fight with the Mexican during their first encounter. He maintains that his loss could have been caused by Margarito’s loaded hand wraps.

The Cotto vs. Margarito fight was reported to be one of Bob Arum’s most lucrative fights with tickets running out two days before the fight. Both fighters are under Arum’s Top Rank Promotions.

With the win Cotto retained his WBA super welterweight crown and banked $5 million plus share in pay-per-view buys while Margarito made $2.5 million plus smaller share of the PPV sales.

Manny Pacquiao graces L.A. Galaxy vs. Philippine Azkals exhibition game in Manila

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by Leo Reyes

WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao was greeted by thousands of fans at the Rizal Football Stadium Saturday night while the Philippine national soccer team tried to outmaneuver the L.A. Galaxy team led by top player David Beckham.

After playing for more than his allotted time, Beckham approached Pacquiao who was watching the game and handed him his Galaxy jersey as souvenir.

The MLS champion scored a 6-1 victory over the Philippine national team Azkals with David Beckham breaking the ice for L.A. Galaxy.
“I haven’t done that for years, that was a good goal tonight,” said Beckham in the post-game interview.
Phil Younghusband was credited for the lone score by the national team.

L.A. Galaxy defeated Indonesia’s national football team (1-0) Wednesday before coming to Manila.
Beckham praised the Indonesian team for their quickness and knowledge of the game.
“They’re very quick and know how to play the game,” Beckham said, adding that he swapped shirts with Andik because he “felt bad for kicking him.”
L.A. Galaxy is fresh from its hard fought victory over Houston Dynamo, its first in six years to win the prestigious MLS cup.
According to Philippine Football Federation President Mariano Araneta, the visit by Beckham and the entire L.A. Galaxy team will contribute immensely to the popularity of football in the country.
The Philippine’s most popular sports are basketball and boxing.

Former Manny Pacquiao Foes Cotto, Margarito Clash Saturday at Madison SG

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by Leo Reyes

Two former foes of Manny Pacquiao are set to clash in a rematch Saturday night at the Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Antonio Margarito of Mexico, who suffered an orbital bone fracture in his right eye in the hands of Filipino boxing star Manny Pacquiao, goes up against another former Pacquiao foe, Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico.

Maragrito lost to Pacquiao last year via a unanimous decision in a fight held at the Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas while Cotto lost via TKO in the last round of their encounter at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in 2009.

The Cotto vs. Margarito rematch is particularly significant in the light of cheating allegations hurled by Team Cotto over the discovery of illegal substance embedded in Margarito’s hand wraps a few minutes before he goes up in the ring to face Shane Mosley at the Staples Center in 2009.

Boxing insiders and critics say Margarito may have used the same loaded hand wraps when he fought Miguel Cotto to a bloody TKO finish in 2007.

In a press conference last Wednesday, Cotto could not hide his anger and called Margarito a criminal for having used illegal hand wraps in their first fight.

Cotto looked at Margarito and said, “You should be embarrassed to be a Mexican.”

Margarito denied Cotto’s allegations and reminded the Puerto Rican about his own criminal act when he threw punches at his uncle and trainer in 2009 which caused their estrangement.

The Margarito vs. Cotto fight is expected to attract thousands of boxing fans from Puerto Rico and Mexico as well as Puerto Rican and Mexican residents in New York.

Earlier, the Top Rank-promoted boxing event was nearly canceled and moved to another venue as the New York Sports Athletic Commission refused to issue Margarito’s license to fight in New York on medical grounds.

The fight is available on HBO pay-per-view at US$55.00. Tickets for the live event at the venue has reportedly been fully sold out two days before the fight.

What happens if negotiations for Pacquiao vs. Mayweather fight collapse?

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by Leo Reyes

At this time, all signs point to a Pacquiao vs. Mayweather match next year — possibly in May at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nev.

But what happens if the negotiations collapse for the third time? Who or what is Pacquiao’s fallback?

For now, just about everyone is rooting for Mayweather as Pacquiao’s next opponent, forgetting
about the possibility of another failure in the upcoming negotiations.

Very few fans have talked about options for Pacquiao as there seems to be no one else who can be worthy as his next opponent.

But in every decision, a fallback or an option is almost always included in the decision-making process. And as far as Pacquiao’s fallback is concerned, two options are up for grabs.

First, Pacquiao can turn to Juan Manuel Marquez for another rematch despite the expected tons of protests from avid boxing fans. But it is an option that is easiest for Pacquiao to pick. Not only will he get an easy guaranteed purse of no less than $30 million, courtesy of his amiable promoter Bob Arum, but he will have another chance to silence the cry baby from Mexico.

But will the fight make it to the box office? Arum knows his business and he won’t make an early spiel for a fourth encounter unless he is assured of reasonable returns.

Besides, it is Pacquiao’s least concern so long as he keeps his guaranteed prize and his share of the of the pay-per-view revenue.

His second option is no other than fellow housemate Timothy Bradley. Arum can make a deal with Bradley in an hour and presto, we will all be watching Pacquiao beating an underdog in less than five rounds.

Again, will the fight sell? Arum has his way of hyping a fight. For sure he will capitalize on Bradley’s unbeaten record and his recent impressive victory over Cuban Joel Casamayor.

In both cases, Arum can have the two guys sign on the dotted line in less than a day.

Are there other options for Pacquiao if the third wave of negotiation with Mayweather falls apart?

Of course there will always be other options but will they work in Pacquiao’s favor? For sure he will be criticized again for “cherry-picking” an opponent in order to be assured of a win. Certainly, it won’t be good for Pacquiao’s reputation to face fighters who are not on his level.

So, what happens when the next round of negotiations with Mayweather’s camp collapse?

We can only look at the two other options — Marquez of Bradley and no one else.

Will Manny Pacquiao wear underdog tag in Mayweather fight?

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by Leo Reyes

With his controversial win over Mexican counter-puncher Juan Manuel Marquez last Nov.12 in Las Vegas, Nevada, boxing fans can expect an underdog tag for Pacquiao when he finally tangles with Mayweather hopefully in May next year.

The last time Pacquiao played the role of an underdog was during his fight with legendary Oscar de la Hoya in 2008 when the odds favored the Golden Boy at -180 compared to +150 for Pacquiao which means a bettor must put in180 to win 100.for de la Hoya and 150 to win 100 for Pacquiao.

After de la Hoya, the Filipino boxing star has not played the underdog card and it went well for him until his third encounter with the Mexican counter-puncher.

If the Mayweather fight takes place in May next year, it is possible Pacquiao will wear the underdog tag again because of his less impressive performance during his third fight with Marquez.

After his win over Antonio Margarito early this year, fans were hoping a Mayweather match would be next for Pacquiao. The odds then was around -140 Mayweather and +110 for Pacquiao.

There are indications that the same pattern would follow the Mayweather fight which is tentatively set for May.

Pacquiao has always been comfortable as an underdog, having fought more popular fighters like Barrera, Morales and de la Hoya who were odds makers’ favorites during their fights.

Pacquiao has acknowledged he will assume the role of an underdog once he signs up with Mayweather for his next fight.

Meanwhile, Pacquiao told ABS-CBN News Wednesday that negotiations are ongoing for his mega fight with Mayweather. “Only little things are being worked out and negotiations are almost a done deal”, Pacquiao said.