Rich neighbours force Pacquiao to sell home
MANILA — World boxing champion Manny Pacquiao says he would sell his mansion in one of the Philippine capital’s swankiest areas after his neighbours complained of his visitors wearing shabby clothing.
Pacquiao told AFP that as a “man of the masses”, he is not finicky with his visitors, even if they are wearing “just shorts and slippers”.
The boxer’s rags-to-riches story, from being a fish vendor in his hometown to winning world titles in an unprecedented eight weight divisions, has made him wildly popular in the Philippines.
He used his boxing fame to get elected to Congress in 2010 and like many wealthy Filipino politicians, he frequently has to meet with constituents asking for hand-outs and favours.
Pacquiao said he would buy a new house where he could accommodate more visitors, who are mostly seeking financial assistance.
“If there’s somebody who is willing to buy, I’m going to sell it,” Pacquiao said of the Manila property, which he acquired for 400 million pesos (M320 million) in 2011.
He added that he wants to make a profit from the sale as he had made renovations.
The 35-year-old said he apologised to his neighbours, though some understood why he was accommodating poor visitors.
“I may be as rich as some of them here, but my lifestyle remains the same and so is my heart. I am just a simple man. I will never change that,” he said.
The three-storey mansion –– in a neighbourhood that is home to Manila’s old rich — has five bedrooms, several reception and dining halls, and an office.
Pacquiao also owns a fleet of luxury cars, and his hometown mansion in southern Philippines has a pool shaped like a boxing glove.
Meanwhile, the mega-fight for which the world has been waiting what seems like an eternity may finally happen not just once, but twice.
Pacquiao versus Floyd Mayweather is tantalisingly close to becoming a reality after the PacMan’s dazzling, rejuvenated performance in Macau against American Chris Algieri two weeks ago.
The target date is May next year and if Pacquiao were to win the scene would be set for them to do it again next September.
Mayweather is believed to be demanding a re-match clause in the contract if he succumbs to the mounting pressure to fight Pacquiao and then loses.
That was revealed by Pacquiao’s iconic trainer, Freddie Roach, as he reviewed the prospects for a Mayweather fight.
Roach said: “My understanding is that Floyd is insisting on a rematch if Manny beats him, which I believe he will. That’s okay with us.”
And why not, given the huge amount of money which would be involved?
The original projection of boxing’s first $300-million fight will soar to one billion dollars if Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum succeeds in opening up the vast Chinese television market to pay-per-view.
That would make for not just one but two billion dollar fights if his PacMan beats Mayweather the Money man first time out.
Pacquiao put the heat back on Mayweather after decking Algieri on 23 November no fewer than six times on his way to victory by a record 18 points in the Cotai Arena.
That was compiled by his winning of all 12 rounds and the American having half a dozen points deducted for those knock-downs.
Job done, world welterweight title retained, Pacquiao then called out Mayweather for the first time, saying: “I want this fight and it is time now to give it to all our fans. They deserve to see it.”
One by one the obstacles raised by Mayweather have been removed, including Pacquiao agreeing to random blood tests for drugs and accepting a 60-40 financial split in favour of his rival for the mythical title of greatest pound-for-pound boxer in the world.
Arum, having said that the fight needs to happen if boxing wants to be regarded as a major sport, adds: “Enough is enough. Let’s do this. All it needs now is for them to make the call. Me and Manny are waiting to pick up the phone.”
Arum is working also on the rivalry between the two major US cable television networks, HBO who screen Pacquiao’s fights and Showtime who have two fights left on their mega-bucks contract with Mayweather.
He is reported to be in talks with CBS, Showtime’s parent company, about them sharing the pay-perview broadcast in America with HBO, the way they did with Mike Tyson versus Lennox Lewis.
As Roach says: “Floyd is afraid of losing his unbeaten record to Manny. But that’s not what defines greatness. Ali lost, Robinson lost, Leonard lost... but they’re still alltime greats. What counts is fighting the best of your era.”
It would have been preferable for these two to meet five or six years ago, in their prime, but although Mayweather is 37 and Pacquiao is 36 this month, there is still time for the fight, or fights, to be meaningful.
Both men live clean, eat healthy and adhere to rigorous training regimes.
Given the remarkable physical conditioning made possible by those disciplines, they are still the greatest fighters of their age.
— Daily Mail-AFP
Manny Pacquiao floors Chris Algieri during their WBO 12-round welterweight title fight in Macau on 23 November.