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Manny Pacquiao reportedly planning to circumvent suspension, fight in Asia in April

manny pacquiaoSo much for a lengthy layoff to recover from his knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez in December. According to various reports, Manny Pacquiao is planning to return to the ring in April for a tune-up fight before facing Marquez for a fifth time in September.

Boxing Scene first reported on Friday that Pacquiao’s team was strongly considering an April fight in Asia. They and others say Pacquiao’s team is looking to book a fight outside the US for two reasons.

Pacquiao was initially under a 120-day suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission following his knockout loss to Marquez on Dec. 8, and a 90-day no contact suspension from the commission (the suspensions may have been reduced to 90/60 by a doctor). In order to begin training in time to fight in April, Pacquiao would have to find a country where the suspensions would not be enforced.

The Philippine Star also reports that Pacquiao’s manager, Michael Koncz, says they are targeting an Asian venue for “tax reasons.” The taxes in other countries might not be as high as they would be for Pacquiao to fight in the US.

“We’re not interested in the US for this fight,” Koncz told the Star.

Pacquiao’s last 14 fights have either taken place in Las Vegas or Texas. His last fight outside the US was a July 2006 bout against Oscar Larios in the Philippines.

Koncz reportedly mentioned three potential locations for the April fight to the Star — Singapore, Abu Dhabi or Macau, which is the gambling center in China.

Brandon Rios, Vyacheslav Senchenko, and Jessie Vargas have been mentioned as potential opponents. Koncz says they will focus on finding a venue before looking at opponents.

Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, reportedly told the Manila Bulletin last week that he was interested in having Pacquiao and Marquez on the same April card, just not fighting against each other. The thinking is the card would build up to a September fight between Pacquiao and Marquez over Mexican Indepence Day weekend.

Having Pacquiao fight in April is a gross departure from what his team initially planned. Arum was so concerned about Pacquiao’s health following the knockout loss he had his fighter undergo extensive brain testing. There was talk that Pacquiao’s planned April fight date would be postponed and that he wouldn’t return until September. That’s what Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, initially said would be the best plan.

Roach still prefers for Pacquiao to wait until September before fighting.

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Doctors worried Manny Pacquiao showing early signs of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s

According to multiple doctors in Manny Pacquiao’s home country of the Philippines, the 34-year-old fighter may be showing signs that he is developing serious health problems. Dr. Rustico Jimenez, the president of Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines, recently said he believes he has seen early signs of Parkinson’s Disease in Pacquiao in the form of hand twitching and stuttering.

“Even though his reflexes are quick, I noticed the movement – it’s just another view, my personal view – but it seems like there are early signs,” Jimenez said, via a translation from Bad Left Hook. “There are some movements that you will notice with his hands. It’s in the hands, and not the head, where you can easily see this. It twitches a little bit. Although I haven’t seen it up close, I think I am seeing that there are some signs.”

Jimenez hasn’t actually examined Pacquiao up close, but he said he can see signs in interviews. Last month, Pac-Man was knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez and one of his coaches said he didn’t know where he was when he finally came to. Pacquiao underwent extensive brain testing after the fight. Dr. Raquel Fortun, a renowned forensics expert from the Philippines, said she is not convinced everything is right with his head.

“When the brain gets shook like that, it’s very dangerous,” Fortun said. “Since it’s not truly fixed to your skull, when your brain gets shaken, there are connections that get cut off, and you get small hemorrhages.”

Of course, these are just the opinions of two doctors who have not worked very closely with Pacquiao. That being said, we already know his wife wants him to give up boxing before he does any serious damage to himself. Hearing that her husband is showing signs of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s will not help ease Jinkee’s anxiety.

UPDATE: Pacquiao issued a statement in response.

“There is nothing to be worry about. I am 100 percent healthy and right now I’m enjoying this memorable vacation with my family in this beautiful country of Israel. I will return to the Philippines on January 14 and in early February because I want to get to the gym because I want to have a fight in April and in September I want the fifth fight with Marquez.

“The statements by the doctors show a total lack of ethics and it was irresponsible. This was just personal opinion and there were no medical tests.”

That statement clearly was not written by Pacquiao. Hopefully his staff member who crafted it will hold some serious concern for the fighter’s health and overall well-being.

Justin Bieber facing ban from Philippines for mocking Manny Pacquiao

justin-bieber-floyd-mayweatherJustin Bieber reportedly is facing a ban from the Philippines for mocking Manny Pacquiao after the fighter was knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez in his most recent fight. True story.

Word of the proposed ban emerged last week when a Philippines congressional representative first made the proposition. According to ABS-CBNnews, Rep. Carol Jane Lopez not only called for Bieber to be banned, but also to have everyone in the country stop buying his music and attending his concerts.

The pop star angered many people in the Philippines by posting a few Pacquiao knocked out Internet meme photos following the boxer’s loss. One of the photos was of Simba from “The Lion King” trying to wake Pacquiao, and the other was of Pac-Man falling just like Michael Jackson doing his lean in Smooth Criminal:

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Dana White blames ‘idiot’ Bob Arum for booking bad fight for Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao suffered a devastating loss to Juan Manuel Marquez two weekends ago, and Dana White thinks Bob Arum is to blame for making the match.

The UFC president says it was a bad decision by Arum, who promotes Pacquiao’s fights, to set the Filipino up for a fourth bout with Marquez. Pacquiao and Marquez fought to a draw in their first bout, and then Pac-Man won two controversial decisions after that. It was clear after the first 36 rounds they fought that Marquez had Pacquiao’s number.

“I’m the biggest Pacquiao fan ever, and I bet on Marquez,” White told the media on Saturday, via 5th Round. “Dumbest fight in history. Bob Arum’s a moron. You don’t take that fight, you idiot! Why would you do that fight? It’s all about the money, that’s why.

“That was a money fight, that’s what that fight was done for.”

White felt Arum should have set up a Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley rematch instead of a fourth Pacquiao-Marquez battle.

“[Pacquiao] should have fought [Timothy] Bradley. Bradley’s the fight they should have done. He would have knocked Bradley out, he would have got his belt back and now he’s back in the position he should have been in.

“[Pacquiao's] one of the best fighters in the world. He goes out and fights Marquez again? Bob Arum is the dumbest promoter in the history of the world.”

We’ve been ripping Arum for years for impeding a Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather superfight. His unwillingness to work with Golden Boy Promotions prevents the best fights from being arranged, which hurts the overall sport. However, there was very little public interest in a second fight against Bradley when almost everyone felt Pacquiao won the first fight. Marquez presented the most difficult matchup for Manny, so we’ll actually give Arum credit for arranging a legitimately dangerous fight.

Below you can see video of White’s comments:

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Manny Pacquiao to undergo extensive brain testing

manny-pacquiao-knockout

Manny Pacquiao was hit so hard by a devastating knockout punch from Juan Manuel Marquez last weekend that he will be taking extra health precautions before resuming his boxing career.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission suspended Pacquiao for 120 days so that he can heal, and they told him to avoid any contact and physical activity for the first 90 days.

Pacquiao’s initial plan was to fight again in April, but that timetable has been delayed because of the knockout. Manny’s trainer, Freddie Roach, says September is the earliest Pacquiao could be back in the ring. Pac-Man’s impending return will also depend on his medical examinations.

Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, plans to have his fighter undergo extensive brain testing before another fight is scheduled, The Philippine Star reports.

“I have to take him to the Cleveland Clinic in Las Vegas, the brain center, which is a brain specialist,” said Arum. “We’re going to do an extensive brain examination before we commit him to a fight.”

Pacquiao was literally out cold after the Marquez knockout. His team had to put a cold towel on him to wake him up after he was out for a minute. His eyes were said to be glazed over. Pacquiao’s coach says the fighter did not know where he was or whether the fight was over.

Pacquiao was taken to a hospital following his loss Saturday where he underwent a CT scan. He also reportedly underwent an MRI after returning home to the Philippines, and his results reportedly were clear. But that doesn’t mean Pacquiao is free of serious injury; the effects of a brutal punch like that don’t always immediately show.

Pacquiao has plans to travel to Israel next week. Arum hopes they will be able to return to Las Vegas for the testing at some point during the new year.

There are plenty of people who wanted to see Pacquiao lose to Marquez, but nobody wants to see anyone suffer serious health consequences. Like Pacquiao’s family, I’m hoping he retires to protect is health. He has already done so much in the sport and has little left to prove. He needs to take care of himself.

Manny Pacquiao, wife Jinkee cry during interview after loss (Video)

Manny Pacquiao conducted an interview with GMA network broadcast in the Philippines that left him and his wife, Jinkee, in tears.

Pacquiao’s family has been urging him to retire from boxing after watching him get knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez on Saturday.

“When you see your husband get hurt, you cannot even sleep,” Jinkee said during the interview conducted while she and Manny remained in Las Vegas.

Asked if she wanted her husband to retire from boxing, she said: “You know the answer to that. He knows what I am asking him.”

The interview allowed the Pacquiaos to speak with their children over Skype. One of their sons told his father he didn’t want him to fight anymore. Both Pacquiaos were emotional while speaking with their children, and Manny was particularly emotional when he thought about the entire country and his millions of fans he let down.

“The low morale, the sadness, I accept that. This is my job…. But the reaction of the Filipinos, the many who cried, especially my family, it really hurts me,” Pacquiao said, per The Telegraph.

One of the sweetest moments of the interview came with about a minute left, when two of the Pacquiaos young daughters told their parents not to cry.

Despite his career in politics and the urging of his family to quit, Pacquiao does not appear to have plans to stop boxing. Pac-Man is turning 34 years old this week and is 54-5-2 in his career.

Glove touch to Off the Bench

Floyd Mayweather feels badly for Manny Pacquiao

Floyd Mayweather Jr. has spent the better part of the last few years avoiding Manny Pacquiao in the ring, but he has sent plenty of verbal jabs the Filipino’s way. Maybe Mayweather is maturing, because he actually expressed compassion for Pacquiao after Pac-Man lost to Juan Manuel Marquez on Saturday.

Mayweather did not see the fight, but he did offer some praise and encouragement for the former champion.

“Marquez is a true champion, Manny Pacquiao is a true champion, both of them went out there and put on a good performance, and that’s a good thing for the sport of boxing,” Mayweather told Fight Hype.

“I wish Pacquiao nothing but the best. I wish that he can bounce back and he can recoup from this. In the sport of boxing, you have to really dedicate yourself to your craft. You have to really, really dedicate yourself to your craft. I think he’s got so many different things on the outside that he worries about, you know. But it was a good thing that he was able to come into the sport, you know, piggyback off my name, and get a bunch of endorsement deals and make a good living. That’s a great thing.”

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