Pacquiao, sobber since 2011

Manny Pacquiao couldn’t exactly tell the last time he had a drink–or even a sip–of anything that had alcohol on it. Having drawn inspiration from his religious transformation, Pacquiao is proud to say that he has been sober since 2011.

For somebody who used to drink heavily, gamble a great deal and engage in illicit affairs, avoiding these highly-addictive vices were easily achieved by Pacquiao, citing that God told him in a dream that it was time to mend his ways.

“I can’t remember the last time I drank,” said Pacquiao, staring at the ceiling of his office at the MP Tower in Quiapo, Manila, in search of an answer. Pacquiao tried his best to recall that time, squinting his eyes but there was no answer even after a lengthy pause. “I don’t know when exactly but it (the last time) was probably in the early-second half of 2011.”

For the last 18 or so months, Pacquiao either drank water or protein shakes and stayed away from betting in cockfights and pool halls and spending countless hours in casinos, spending his free time attending to his congressional duties and preaching, urging others to lead a clean life. Even while playing basketball, Pacquiao always reminds his teammates and even players from opposing teams to shun alcohol.

In fact, when Pacquiao celebrated his 34th birthday last December in General Santos City, alcohol was not served and very much unlike in the previous years when classy wine and upmarket liquor flowed freely.

One subordinate has also somehow heeded Pacquiao’s call that he no longer goes out at night to down a few bottles of his favorite brew but does so in the private confines of his living room, away from the eyes of his boss.

Months and months without alcohol hasn’t deterred his resolve and Pacquiao also succeeded in getting rid of his nasty gambling habit and forget about his lascivious lifestyle.

It is for these reasons that Pacquiao is optimistic of his much-awaited ring return in September against a foe who will be named by June. “Walang inom. Walang bisyo,” said Pacquiao. “Ready to fight tayo.” Whether it is going to be his tormentor Juan Manuel Marquez or not, Pacquiao assures everyone he will be back with a bang. Before his interviewer could utter the words, Pacquiao beat him to the punch.

“Yes, we will rise again.”

Donaire hailed as 2012 BWAA Fighter of the Year

Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire will receive the coveted “Fighter of the Year” award otherwise known as the Sugar Ray Robinson Trophy from the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA).

Donaire, the reigning WBO superbantamweight champion, is the second Filipino to receive the prestigious award after Manny Pacquiao who bagged the BWAA Fighter of the Year award thrice in 2006, 2008 and 2009.

Donaire’s rivals for this award include Danny Garcia and Robert Guerrero of the U.S., Juan Manuel Marquez of Mexico and another Pinoy, Brian Viloria.

The 30-year-old Donaire (31W-1L, 20 KOs) had four notable wins in 2012 against Wilfredo Vasquez Jr. of Puerto Rico(SD12), Jeffrey Mathebula of South Africa (UD12), Toshiaki Nishioka of Japan (TKO 9) and Jorge Arce of Mexico ( KO 3).

The BWAA Fighter of the Year Awards started in 1938 and was renamed after boxing great Sugar Ray Robinson, who won Fighter of the Year in 1950.

This marks the fourth time in the last seven years that a Filipino boxer has been honored by boxing journalists in the United States.

Way to go Donaire!!!

Coach Weiss next move for Philippine Football team Azkals

After a tragic loss for The Philippine Football team Azkals in their previous game against the Mongolian football team in Ulan Bator, Philippine Head Coach Michael Weiss shows his leadership as he expressed optimism that key players like Fil-German Stephen Schorck and Fil-Danish Cagara will be available for the AFC Challenge Cup in Nepal next month.

The players were disappointed regarding the results of their previous game knowing that they had let their adoring fans and nations down. Some Football Experts blamed the weather (12 degree Celsius) for the lost of the team. Many game fanatics quickly noticed that the team is quite sluggish in today’s game compared to their winning game in Bacolod. They noticed that it took quite some time for the team to get used with the weather during the game as they are seen struggling in the first half of the game but later improved on the second half. Still, it is too late since it had already cost a lot when the opponent scored 2-1 beating the Azkals.

Making the team’s training camp in this bustling city crucial in honing up the Manila-based players, Weiss said their availability, as in the past, will be known only at the last minute

However coach Weiss said, “What is important is we have a strong group in Manila.  And we will be even stronger when the professionals from Europe arrive.

“We are expecting a few of our professional players to join us for the Challenge Cup next month. So the idea now is to develop a parallel line of players to further the development of Filipino football.”

The Azkals were scheduled to play the Australia Under-23 team at the Al Maktoum Stadium Thursday night. Weiss is expecting Schrock to play for one or two matches in the March 9 to 13 tournaments.

Senate Wants Explanation from the Ambassador of Argentina over Attack on Filipino Boxer

The Senate wanted the immediate recall of the Philippines’ ambassador to Argentina and an explanation from the Argentine ambassador in Manila to explain a post-fight regarding the attack on victorious Filipino boxer Johnriel Casimero and his team by an angry mob in Argentina, after he stopped Argentine Luis Alberto Lazarte in Round 10 of their fight

Filipino boxer Johnriel Casimero has just been declared winner against Argentinian boxer Jose Alberto Lazarte when angry fans started throwing chairs and bottles at Casimero. Even the member of Casimero’s entourage were attacked by the angry mob when they all started climbing up the ring. Casimero and his team suffered minor injuries from the attack of the angry mob but no one was killed. Casimero won the light flyweight belt in the match.

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile wanted a resolution directing the Department of Foreign Affairs to recall Philippine Ambassador Rey Carandang and call Argentine ambassador to the Philippines Joaquin Daniel Otero.

Sotto called the attack a “black eye’’ on the image of Argentineans. Enrile described it as a “sordid and unfortunate incident.’’

“The manner by which they mistreated, assaulted, insulted the honor of the country, as well as the person of that Philippine team, especially our boxer, I move that we direct the Department of Foreign Affairs under the power to ratify treaties, and to ratify the assignment of ambassadors to this country… to recall our ambassador to Buenos Aires, and to call the ambassador to this country to explain why they have the temerity to assault the flag, the honor, the dignity of this country represented by our boxer that went to the country thinking that this is a civilized country, and not a country of abnormal, uncivilized people,’’ Enrile said.

Legarda said this was not a severance of ties with Argentina.

“We’re not severing our ties,’’ she said, adding that Carandang would be asked to appear before the Senate to explain the incident.

Legarda said she would also ask the DFA to submit a report and to relay the country’s displeasure with the incident to the Embassy of Argentina in Manila.

Reference: Inquirer Sport

Manny Pacquiao’s First Fight for 2012

Many Pacquio will be facing his next opponent, the undefeated Timothy “Tim” bradly which is set to take place on June 9th, 2012 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV. “Manny Pacquio (54-3-2, 38KO) versus Timothy Bradley(28-0, 13KO).”

Manny Pacquiao is absolutely an international star and his future fights will surely be a huge event. Timothy Bradley has established himself as one of the most talented Boxer nowadays. He established his name in Boxing with his wins over Lamont Peterson, Devon Alexander, Junior Witter, and Kendall Holt.

Boxing fanatics may not feel as thrilled as the much awaited Mayweather-Pacquiao’s fight, but this match could be one of the most memorable fights ever in boxing.

“This is going to be one of the greatest clashes this year because Timothy Bradley is one of the perfect opponents for Manny Pacquiao. He is a very dedicated, disciplined, and hard-working fighter who uses also intelligence in the ring to adapt and overcome whatever adversity he’s faced with.

“During his last fight against Casamayor, Tim Bradley precisely broke down the Cuban veteran over the course of 8 rounds, knocking him down in rounds 5, 6, and 8. He utilized intelligent pressure while using long touch jabs to set up the beautiful searching right hooks to the body which eliminated Casa’s lateral movement and ultimately set up his power shots to the head,” some of the boxing analysts’ opinion.

Star-studded Azkals-Galaxy game a success

Despite having a score of 6-1 in favor of The Major League Soccer (MLS) Cup champions- Los Angeles Galaxy, their friendly game with the Philippine National Football Teams-Azkals at the Rizal Memorial Stadium last Saturday was a success.

“It was a good match this evening. I thought the Philippine team played quite well in the first half, certainly it was a close match,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said in the post-match press conference.

The Azkals had a close fight with the LA Galaxy during the first half of the game with Angel Guirado, Chieffy Caligdong and Phil Younghusband penetrating the defense of the LA Galaxy numerous times. But it was the team’s superstar David Beckham who scored the first goal for the LA Galaxy in the 20th minute followed by Mike Magee’s goal in the 38th minute.

The Azklas managed to bounce back from the 2 point lead by the Galaxy through a goal by Phil Younghusband. But Phil’s goal was short lived when Robbie Keane and other members of the LA Galaxy team scored 4 more goals in the second half.

Nonetheless, Coach Arena said that the Philippine team had talented players and was impressive. “I thought number 12 (Guirado), 13 (Caligdong) and 10 (P. Younghusband) played well. I don’t know their names and I apologize for that, but I thought they played well,” he said.

Meanwhile, LA Galaxy members Arena and Donovan mentioned that their team’s good play is a bit better from the condition of the Philippine team. “In the second half, I think we just wore them down. Our fitness level is perhaps a little bit better,” Arena said. “We got our fitness in over a little bit in the last three or four days,” Donovan said.

David Beckham and Landon Donovan also thanked all the Filipinos for their hospitality during their short stay in the Philippines. Beckham added that he was thrilled when he saw Manny Pacquiao in the audience and admitted that he is a huge fan of the Filipino boxer.

Aside from the Manny Pacquiao, also present in the audience during the game were Phil Younghusband’s girlfriend-Angel Locsin, Mylene Dizon, Dawn Zulueta and Maxene Magalona nd politicians Rep. Amado Bagatsing and Mayor Alfredo Lim.

Nomads FC vs. Kaya FC – UFL Quarterfinals and win Galaxy tickets

Football in the Philippines is getting more and more popular. Thanks to the national team the Azkals, but also thanks to the commitment and improved organization of the United Football League (UFL).

After finishing the group stage and last 16 of this year UFL Cup, the upcoming weekend will host the quarterfinals.

For the UFL quarterfinals Nomads Auction Manila FC will be playing Kaya Cignal, on Saturday November 26th 4pm at the University of Makati. Admission is free and the UFL will be raffling off tickets to the LA Galaxy-Azkals match. Match will be televised live on AKTV.

Kaya which is the club of Azkals captain Aly Borromeo, Anton Del Rosario, Yannick Tuason, Nate Burkey, Jaison Sabio and Lexton Moy are perceived favorite for this Saturday’s highlight. However, Nomads Auction Manila FC consists of talented footballer from mainly Europe, but also America and Africa. Team spirit, discipline and simple football are among the successors of their game. Nomads’ defense which did not concede any goal in this year’s cup will be heavily challenged by Kaya’s attacking power. But according to Nomads defender Yves De-Luis “Whoever will be in the first eleven for Nomads tomorrow, will make it very very difficult for Kaya to score. And even if we are underdog, we believe to get to the semi finals, because the decision is made on the pitch – and we are ready.”

Globally, people are paying to watch football. Here in the Philippines it’s still free! What better to do than go and support one of the teams. Wear green for Nomads or yellow for Kaya. See you in the Stadium!

A number of Congressmen support Pacquiao but none for SEAG athletes

In the wave of the controversial bout of pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez, another sports competition is happening on the South East side of the globe. Currently happening in Indonesia is the 26th Southeast Asian Games (SEAG).

But despite the event being an international event, a lot more politicians, especially members of the Philippine Congress showed support for the pound-for-pound king than the 512 Filipino athletes competing in Indonesia.

As reported in the local news, 60 Filipino congressmen were in Las Vegas to watch Pacquiao’s fight wherein Pacquiao even said that they should do a “roll call”, a process done in Congress, since there were a lot of representatives in Vegas. Among the congressmen spotted in Las Vegas were Pangasinan Representative, Gina De Venecia and Manila Representative, Amado Bagatsing.

Meanwhile, not a single congressman has been cheering or showing support for the national athletes. The games is now on its 6th day wherein the Philippines is placing   6th with 14 gold, 22 silver and 28 bronze medals. The most gold medals won by the country was yesterday or Day 5 of the SEAG. The Philippines won a total of 6 models bringing the total gold count to 14.

Another controversial Pacquiao VS Marquez fight

 photo from REUTERS/R. Marsh Starks

photo from REUTERS/R. Marsh Starks

If the rematch between the two boxers wasn’t controversial enough, the epic fight between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez held at the MGM Grand Arena ended in a controversial decision.

With the judges’ score of 114-114, 115-113 and 116-112, the fight for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title was crowned the defending champion, Pacquiao victorious over rival Juan Marquez.

Marquez had the upper hand during the middle rounds with his counter punches as it was obvious that Pacquiao was frustrated and can’t get any rhythm throughout most of the rounds. However, Pacquiao was able to give enough power shots may have earned him the title.

“I clearly won the fight,” Pacquiao said in the post-fight interview. “I got hurt a couple of times, but I’m very careful. We have to accept that my opponent is not easy. He is a good fighter and it’s not easy, but I won the fight,” he added.

Pacquiao’s coach, Freddie Roach stated that Marquez clearly had Pacquiao’s number, and said that they will still have to work on figuring out how to fight against counterpunchers. “He fell into that old trap that he did in the first two fights,” Roach said.

But on the other camp, the match was not a convincing win for Marquez. According to him, the match was his third match against Pacquiao wherein he felt that he was robbed. “It’s hard when you are fighting against the fighter and the judges as well,” “I need to sit down with my family and my camp and make a decision about whether to continue in this sport,” he said. “If I drop him, they are going to pick him up and give him the fight again. I don’t know what else I need to do.” Marquez added.

After the results of the fight, Top Rank chief executive Bob Arum expressed his intent of staging another match between Pacquiao and Marquez. “I am bound and determined to find a definitive winner once and for all. If both fighters agree, I’d like to do the rematch in 2012,” he said.

When asked about a 4th bout, Pacquiao said that he is leaving the decision to his promoter while Marquez’ decision still depends on his statement of retiring after fighting Pacquiao.

PHL Azkals to play vs LA Galaxy on December 3

When Azkals team manager Dan Palami said that the team has an early Christmas gift for Filipino fans, he wasn’t kidding. As an early Christmas gift to the supporters of the Azklas and Filipino football fans, the Azkals team manager announced that the major league soccer team, LA Galazy, will be visiting Manila and will be also be playing a friendly game against the Philippine Azklas on December 3 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

LA Galaxy President Thomas Payne also confirmed that the entire Galaxy Team, together with the football superstar David Beckham and Galaxy stars Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan, will be indeed visiting the Philippines on December 3, 2011.

“We’re looking forward to playing in front of a crowd that’s in front of the action. It’s gonna be a really memorable night for this community and for the sport of soccer,” Payne said.

Aside from the friendly match, the Galaxy team will also hold an open practice on December 2 from 9 am to 11 am and a football clinic for children from 2pm to 4pm which will also be held at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Payne believes that the activity will contribute to the popularity of football. “Coming into a market like this, which is going football-crazy as I understand… putting on a game, bringing this kind of PR and media can only be good for the sport in this country,” he said.

Palami also mentioned that the event will mark the end of a great year for the Philippine Azkals.