Boxing Gnews……… Fight Blog

Pacman... simply the best!!!!

Pacman... simply the best!!!!

Last Sunday, Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao solidified his claim to legendary status with a 2 round demolition of Ricky “Hitman” Hatton.

More than a week later, the Philippines is still on a high, and everyone is still talking about the fight. I just want to share with you how I spent that day, and how I witnessed history.

7:o0 am – Woke up and quickly changed into my new black  Nike “Team Pacquiao” t shirt.

Team Paquiao shirt. Front and back. Philippine Eagle ba ito sa likod?

Team Paquiao shirt. Front and back. Philippine Eagle ba ito sa likod?

7:30 – I received a text from Mich, asking where we were, told him I was leaving at 8am. I had to laugh when he said he was at Greenhills already.

8:00- Picked up Noy in his house in San Juan. While waiting for him, I sat in and watched part of  the game 7 Boston vs Chicago match which was into the 1st quarter. Scalabrine has a breakaway dunk, but nope, Derrick Rose swats it away. Wow!!!

8:15- Finally we leave for World Music in Greenhills. I wanted to get to the venue early so I can get good parking.

8:30-9:00 – Got good parking. Met up with Mich and we got our ticket stubs.We will be in Room #16. The 3 of us ordered the same thing, Salpicao Rice for breakfast and iced tea. The room size is ok.  It ‘s very cold. It has a 42 inch plasma, which is showing preliminary fights.

9:10 – Food arrives.  Medyo konti, pero masarap naman, is our sentiment.

9:30 -10:00 Nothing much happens, some preliminary fights are being shown, no exciting fights so far. Manny Pacquiao is shown arriving to the venue with wife Jinkee .  It is very cold here in World Music.

10:10- Mark arrives with his girlfriend Ivy. Just in time because the main supporting bout is starting. Blue arrives with family in tow. The room is very cold.

10:45 – The main supporting bout is at the 8th round already. I estimate the main event will start in around 30 or so minutes. IT is still very cold.

11:00 – The ring is now filled with people. I can see the Philippine flag. HBO scans the audience for celebrities at ringside. Uuuy, its Marky Mark Wahlberg, it’s Jack Nicholson, d lang pala Lakers pinapanood nito. It’s that Chef Wolfgang guy, Mariah Carrey and husband.Jeremy Piven of Entourage is in the house. He is an unabashed Manny Pacquiao fan. Of course Oscar dele Hoya is watching, he even has a Hatton mask. The executioner Bernard Hopkins is also in attendance. Dami naman sikat. Here in World Music , the only celebrity we have is Alfrancis Chua, former PBA head coach. I actually bumped into him on the way to the restroom. I couldn’t resist and greeted him, “Hi kots,kamusta? ”

Oscar with a Hatton mask

Oscar with a Hatton mask

Mark and Jack,who both starred in "The Departed" chatting at ringside. "Ang ganda katawan ni Pacman." sabi ni Mark, "Parang abs ko nung funky bunch days." Jack "Mark, You can't handle the truth, matanda ka na!"

Mark and Jack,who both starred in "The Departed" chatting at ringside. "Ang ganda katawan ni Pacman." Mark tells Jack. "Parang abs ko nung funky bunch days." Jack answers, "Mark, You can't handle the truth, matanda ka na!"

11:10 –  Richard Buffer calls in Martin Nievera to sing the National Anthem. Wow, may minus 1 siya. Cool earphone monitors, they have the Filipino colors. Martin sang it well, d naman pumiyok. I didn’t like the arrangement though. I have a feeling maraming magre-react sa version niya.(Marami nga eventually) Anyway…….

I like the Pinoy earphone monitor

Martin Nievera singing the National Anthem.I like the Pinoy earphone monitor

11:15 – Richard Buffer calls in SIR Tom Jones to sing God save the Queen. It’s Tom Jones!!! I kind of expected his Acapella version of the song to suddenly morph into.. “You don’t have to be beautiful to be my girl,” then he would gyrate all over the place. Ladies would start throwing their underwear in the ring…….

Sir Tom Jones

Sir Tom Jones.

11:20- A Hispanic/Latina girl is called in to sing US National Anthem. What’s up with that? Mukhang Pinay pa ata ito.Villegas apelido. D kaya apo ito ni Miniong?

Villegas? Pinay kaya?

Camille Villegas? Pinay kaya? Ano ni Miniong?

11:30 – Ricky Hatton makes his way to the ring. He apparently has his own jingle/entrance theme song… wow. Rick Rick Ricky Hatton. Hah!!! Hintayin nila si Pacman. What shorts is he wearing? I can’t describe it. He looks like he borrowed it from Hector “Macho” Camacho.

What is he wearing?

What is he wearing?

Fashion statement. FCUK kaya ito?

Fashion statement. FCUK kaya ito?

11:45 – Pilipino, pilipino pilipino ako…. sila rock, tayo rock ballad. Pacman makes his way to the ring. He is smiling. He looks so calm, cool. Ang laking mama yung nasa likod niya, It’s WWE superstar Batista!!! Wow!!!! Do I sense a guesting in WWE soon? Floyd Mayweather actually fought a wrestler,” Big Show” at Wrestlemania. Batista and Pacman vs Big Show and Mayweather? tag team? Pacquiao is actually smiling as he enters the ring. He looks so relaxed and cool.

Accompanied by WWE Superstar Batista.

Accompanied by trainer, former heavyweight champ Michael Moorer and WWE Superstar Batista. Resback palang talo na si Hatton!!!

Pacman's pre-fight prayer ritual. "Trabaho lang ito."

Pacman's pre-fight prayer ritual. "Trabaho lang ito."

11:50 – The fighters are introduced. Lets get  rrready to rrrrrrrrumble!!!! The tale of the tape is shown onscreen. Pacman actually has a reach advantage.

Redford White, este, Ricky Hatton ready to rumble

Redford White, este, Ricky Hatton ready to rumble

Gameface for Pacquiao

Gameface for Pacquiao

"Have a good fight gentlemen"

"Have a good fight gentlemen"

11:52 – The fight begins. Suddenly the room seems to be colder, but I am actually sweaty and nervous. Hatton is the aggressor. He is chasing Pacman across the ring. He is looking to brawl. So much for his strategy of dance and move. He is clinching and hitting on the break. Noy shouts “Walang ganyanan.” Pacman shakes his fists loosely at his sides, as if to say to Hatton, “Game Na!” Hatton charges in, a short right hook sends him down to the canvas. Knockdown #1. We are all shouting and screaming. Mich and Noy actually rush to the tv pointng at hatton and taunting him. I keep shouting P*%#@!!!! Hayop!!!! Even the girlfriend of Mark is standing up and shouting along with us. Hatton gets up. as soon as he does, Pacquiao goes in again. A barrage of punches sends Hatton down again for knockdown # 2. We are all shouting and screaming. The bell rings and mercifully saves Hatton.

Hatton rushed inside early in the fight, but Paquiao keeps him at bay.

Hatton rushed inside early in the fight, but Paquiao keeps him at bay.

A right hook catches the Hitman..........

A right hook catches the Hitman..........

Knockdown #1. Hatton gets the 8 count from ref Kenny Bayless

Knockdown #1. Hatton gets the 8 count from ref Kenny Bayless

Paquiao pursues Hatton to the corner, and sends him down for knockdown # 2

Paquiao pursues Hatton to the corner, and sends him down for knockdown # 2

Pacquiao stares down Hatton, ready to end it in the 1st round.

Pacquiao stares down Hatton, ready to end it in the 1st round.

Hatton is saved by the bell, and he staggers to his corner

Hatton is saved by the bell, and he staggers to his corner

11:55 – We are all shouting, cheering, whooping it up. We could her all the other guests at the other rooms, shouting as well. Slow mo replays show the 2 knockdowns. Hatton looks out of it. His cornermen are frantically trying to give him advice. We are all still in shock at how fast the fight has progressed so far. I am wondering how the local announcers, Chino Trinidad and Quinito Henson are calling the fight. Chino- “Pinabagsak ng pambansang kamao, ang isang Manny Pacquiao, ang briton na si Hatton.”  Quinito-” I agree with you Chino, he was faster, swifter than ever.More pwerful than a locomotive. I remember the time that …..”  Haaay, buti nalang international broadcasters sa broadcast namin.

11:56 – Pacquiao doesn’t immediately press Hatton, perhaps wary that he is playing possum. Hatton actually lands a good punch or two. Pacquiao is picking his spots. Hatton is cautious, but he has no snap to his punches. Manny keeps beating Hatton to the punch. “Ang bilis ng suntok ni Pacman,” someone  from my group shouts to no one in particular. As the round is nearing to a close, it seems Hatton is recovering and Pacman may have lost momentum with 10 seconds to go in the round. Then it happens. A picture perfect left hook catches Hatton flush on the chin. Tiiiiiiiiiimbeeeeeeerr!!! Hatton falls like a log. The referee waives his hands. He doesn’t even count. It’s over. Manny jumps into his cornerman’s arms, then kneels by one of the cornerposts to pray. The tv shows Hatton being attended to. He looks really out. It’s like in the cartoons where you see birds chirping around you. Nakaka-awa actually. There is pandemonium here in Greenhills. High fives, man hugs, slaps on the shoulders, wow. That was quick. The slow motion replays shows the viciousness and power of the punch. Right on the button. He looked unconscious already when he hit the canvas.

Early in round 2, Pacman was biding his time, picking his spots.....

Early in round 2, Pacman was biding his time, picking his spots.....

Kaboom!!! Picture perfect left hook, 10 second before the end of the round.

Kaboom!!! Picture perfect left hook, 10 second before the end of the round.

Other angles of the left hook that hit the "Hit man."

Other angles of the left hook that hit the "Hit man."

The effect of Pacquiao's left hook is devastating

The effect of Pacquiao's left hook is devastating

Pacman looks at his handiwork, and calmly walks away.

Pacman looks at his handiwork, and calmly walks away.

Overhead view of Pacquiao's day in the office

Overhead view of Pacquiao's day in the office

12:15- I immediately call Janice to tell her the news. While talking to her on the phone an aspiring presidential candidate appears onscreen. Wow, hayop. Buti nga, walang audio. The coverage quickly shifts back to the ring. Some 2 to 3 minutes later, the same video of the politician is shown again. Ha!! Buti nga, la parin audio. I can actually hear people from the other rooms cursing him. Mukhang nag backfire ang plano niya. Ooops.

12:25pm – Mario Lopez (Why him? Is it because he came from a show “Saved by the Bell?) is going to interview Pacman. “I mean you know.. is all I remember from Pacman.” He talks to Freddie Roach. Roach promptly tels him, “I wasn’t surprised by the outcome.'”Bob Arum, boldly states, Manny Pacquiao is the best of all time.”

As soon as Referee Kenny Bayless declared Pacquiao the winner, Pacman jumped into his handlers' arms and prayed in a neutral corner

As soon as Referee Kenny Bayless declared Pacquiao the winner, Pacman jumped into his handlers' arms and prayed in a neutral corner

Bob Arum declares Pacquiao the best ever. You know.....

Bob Arum declares Pacquiao the best ever. You know.....

12:35pm – Hatton leaves the ring. The British gallery has stopped singing of course. Referee Kenny Bayless raises Pacquioa’s hands. Buffer announces him as the NEW Ibo World Jr. welterweight champion , and pound for the pound  the best in the world. Floyd Mayweather jr must be regretting his decision to come out of retirement.

The vanquished Hatton leaves the arena

The vanquished Hatton leaves the arena

12:45 – The group says their farewells and goodbyes. Noy, Mich and I decide to celebrate Pacman’s victory over lunch. Where? Le Ching tea house. Spareribs rice with beef brisket sauce, Hakaw, chicken feet and siopao. Yahoo. Perfect ending to a perfect day. remember, no hitting below the belt. You know………..

The best of all time? Definitely among the top five in my opinion.

The best of all time? Definitely among the top five in my opinion.

Pound for pound, the best... you know....

Pound for pound, the best... you know....

Side story: I  bought this “Manny Pacquiao” shirt from Spoofs. Just wanted to show it to you guys. Available in all major malls. Get one, I am sure it will be a collectors  item.

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Golfing Gnews…….. The Comeback

Tiger Woods, I am definitely not. If there is one thing that he and I have in common, is that we are both making a comeback to a sport we both love (and hate), GOLF.

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My good friend Bambam got me into the sport waaay back in 1993 or 94. He had brought his golf clubs when he visited us here from the US.  Along with Ricky and Janice, (who was just my girlfriend then), we would visit Power golf (now where Savemore Pasig is) and hit away. I still remember my first golf pro and lesson. His name was Vic Granada and he taught me the basics. It was 20 bucks a bucket and I think 150 bucks for the lesson. From there, even when Bambam left, I progressed to going on my own, or with Janice and my future brother in law Jude and hitting using borrowed golf clubs from Nelson R. I still remember my first game in a fairway. It was at Veterans, with Janno Gibbs (yes that janno Gibbs) and I started at the back nine, and got a triple bogey. I finished that day , shooting 32 over using borrowed clubs.

Soon after, I bought my own clubs, Macgregor Irons  and my pride and joy,a  Callaway Warbird Big Bertha Driver. the IN club of the day at that time.   Shortly after that most of my friends were now into golf: Jay C., Desi, Al, Reggie, Oskie, Ricky,Nelson, Sid and the late Glen B. Boy Blue Ocampo, now a big shot at the APGA, became our “pro” and taught us the finer points of the sport. One of my friends Jimbo, a jungolfer was so happy we were playing a sport he loved.  We would make the long trips to Canlubang Old course, Riviera and Orchard. We would play in Navy, Aguinaldo and in Capitol Hills (with Ariel Rivera no less) I would even play in Binictican in Subic with the Nolido boys. I was really hooked.

Reggie, Ricky, Me, Nelson and Al @ the Old Course in'95

Reggie, Ricky, Me, Nelson and Al @ the Old Course in'95

In fact, when it was time to “formally” ask for Janice’s hand in marriage from my dad in law, it was in a golf course in Valley Golf.  Dad asked me to play with him. Of course I accepted his invite, but to be safe, hehe, I asked Al to accompany me, just in case Dad decided not to make me part of the family and leave me in the course.

Ricky teeing off in Hole #4 of the Old Course. Beside him is the late Glen B.

Ricky teeing off in Hole #4 of the Old Course. Beside him is the late Glen B.

Nelson lines up a putt. "Isang grip sa ilong, este sa kaliwa."

Nelson lines up a putt. "Isang grip sa ilong, este sa kaliwa."

Jimbo at # 1.

Jimbo at # 1

My turn at # 4. Mukhang totoo no?

My turn at # 4. Mukhang totoo no?

Al with a fashion statement at Hole # 5

Al with a fashion statement at Hole # 5

It's Reggie's turn at # 5, and with his fashion statement. Hi-socks indeed!!!

It's Reggie's turn at # 5, and with his fashion statement. Hi-socks indeed!!!

Horsing around before teeing off at the Old Course

Horsing around before teeing off at the Old Course

At The Canlubang Country Club in 1995.

At The Canlubang Country Club in 1995.

When I got married in 1996, that was when golf was really hitting its peak. The rates in the golf courses were increasing and there was so much traffic in the golf courses. It was almost impossible to play during weekends. So my golfing was now limited to maybe once or twice every three months, until I eventually retired sometime in 2004. And prior to that, I was rarely playing anyway. I kept in touch with golf  by watching it on tv and thru Al, who had now developed into a single handicapper, and even led his  Riviera team to victory. Coincidentally, most of my friends, Jay, Desi and Reggie, also went into golf semi- retirement or stopped playing altogether.

Fast forward now to 2008. Again, and old friend from the US got me back to golf. Sid came home last year and invited the guys to play golf. Al and Reg (who had come out of semi-retirement) accepted and were telling me to go with them. I said, Ya sure why not. I went to our bodega and found my golf clubs. They literally had cobwebs, not dust, but cobwebs. I proceeded to the garden to start swinging. While swinging, the golf grips cracked and broke. Finally after a couple of swings, I gave up. No way, not unless I had actually practiced I said to myself. Plus I had no gloves, shoes and other golf paraphernalia. But even at the last minute, in the morning of the golf game, I was still actually contemplating on playing. But common sense got the better of me. “Pass na muna,” I texted to Al and Reggie,” But  I will walk with you in the golf course at Valley, and take pictures.”

Al, Sid and Reggie, at the Executive Course of Valley Golf

Al, Sid and Reggie, at the Executive Course of Valley Golf

Al putting between............

Al putting between............

Sid, Reggie, and Al. Different strokes for different..... shapes?

Sid, Reggie, and Al. Different strokes for different..... shapes?

At Valley, in the last hole,some 140 yards away, Reg gave me his 5 iron and said, fire away. I looked down at the ball, checked my stance, knees bent, waggle, practice swing, aaaand then swiiiiiing and a miss. Ouch that hurt! I actually whiffed and missed the ball. Hehehe dyahi. “One more,” Reggie said, “Relax.” After a deep breath, waggle, slow back swing, POW!!!, Straight and true, over the green!!! Al, Sid and Reggie were clapping and cheering. Wow, Flashdance, what a feeling!

Ready.... aim.....

Ready.... aim.....

Fire... este... FORE!!!!!

Fire... este... FORE!!!!!

I actually hit it... and it flew!!!! Yahooooo!!!!!

I actually hit it... and it flew!!!! Yahooooo!!!!!

In the clubhouse after the game, Sid offered to sell his old Nike clubs to me, and I accepted the offer. Some 5 months later, the clubs  finally arrived around December. I went to the range to try them out. I couldn’t believe how forgiving and light these new clubs are. I also amazed at how HUGE the clubheads of today’s drivers are. They made my old Big Bertha driver look like a 3 wood.

Finally, last week, I got to actually use them for the 1st time in a golf course, at the Baguio Country Club. It was going to be  my first game in around 4 plus years,maybe more. I scored a 91, 30 strokes over. Not good, but considering the rust, and  the extra pounds I had packed all these years, I was happy with the result. I even got 2 pars, but unfortunately some double pars as well. I teed off at 7am and played alone and relaxed. My caddy, Henry, was very supportive and kept giving very welcome advice. Playing in Baguio is very tiring. Up and down, hills here and there. The thin air didn’t help either. But undaunted, and happy with the result of Day 1, I made a reservation to play again the next day. Day 2 ,  this time I teed off earlier at 6:30am. Despite the thick  fog and the cold, I proceeded to cut 5 strokes off my game from the previous day, spiked by a  chip for par in one of the holes. Very much happy with this days’ result, I pushed the envelope and informed my caddy, that I would play again the next day. The 3rd day, I was literally the 1st person in the golf course. The starter and my caddy were not even there yet when I arrived. I teed off again at 6:30am and proceeded to cut another 5 strokes from my previous days score. Yahooo!!!! Sid, I love the clubs, thanks for selling them to me.

A very foggy Hole #1 at the Baguio Country Club

A very foggy Hole #1 at the Baguio Country Club

Watta view!!!

Watta view!!!

Teeing off at hole #11.

Teeing off at hole #11.

At the same hole after my tee shot. 2 putts. Par. :)

At the same hole after my tee shot. 2 putts. Par. 🙂

At hole # 18, where I made another par.

At hole # 18, where I made another par.

I love golf..............

I love golf..............

With my caddy Henry and Ro-anne,the starter after my round.

With my caddy Henry and Ro-anne,the starter after my round.

So now, I am back to playing a sport I once loved, and apparently still do. I used to slice all over the place earning the nickname ,”Mr. Slicerman” from a caddy in the old course. Now I actually pull my shots to the left more often than slicing. Hmm. I welcome anyone’s advice to cure this. So to my friends who are still in golf retirement, tara na. Come join us. 🙂

FORE!!!!!!!!!

SIDE STORY: After my 1st day of golf, I played mini golf in John Hay, with Janice, the kiddos, and Jude. I shot 1 under. 🙂

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