Rain or Shine still undecided on CornleyBy Beth Celis |Philippine Daily Inquirer
Saturday came and went, but there was absolutely no hint in the media if Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez had made it to Macau for that all-important meeting with Top Rank Promotions chief Bob Arum, who was supposed to seal the fifth fight between the two.
This only means that neither fighter had gone to Macau, even if only to watch the Brian Viloria-Juan Francisco Estrada WBO/WBA flyweight title fight that night which Viloria lost by split decision.
The meeting was planned months ago by Arum, but Marquez seems to have grown lukewarm to the rematch. Marquez said he wants instead to fight Tim Bradley, who beat Pacquiao by a controversial split decision last year.
Perhaps Arum did not agree to the $20-million purse Marquez had asked for. He was paid $6 million for his fourth match with Pacquiao.
But unlike Marquez, who knocked him out cold in their fourth fight and is now shopping around for other opponents, Pacquiao wants nothing but a chance to redeem his name through a fifth match with the Mexican counterpuncher in September.
Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach wants the same thing.
Let’s see if Arum can swing this one.
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At first I thought Rain or Shine team owner Raymond Yu did not reply to my text query—“What’s Jamelle Cornley still doing in town?”—but guess what?
The store where I bought my new but defective cellphone retrieved 45 lost messages in the inbox and one of them was from Raymond.
“He just loves it here,” Raymond said in his short reply, sent during the Holy Week when Cornley got into trouble with the police.
Because the incident caused by Cornley at Sir Williams Hotel happened during the long Lenten weekend, bail could not be posted for the import and he had to stay locked up for four days.
He has been released since, but the police officer he assaulted while he was being arrested has filed criminal charges against him.
So far, the Office of the PBA Commissioner has not issued a statement on the incident.
I asked PBA media bureau chief Willie Marcial if there was a chance that Cornley might be pardoned and allowed to play in the third conference.
Marcial said much will depend on the result of the investigation.
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I also asked Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao to confirm reports that the Elasto Painters still wanted the services of Cornley who gave the team their first PBA title last season.
Yeng’s reply: “We have no plans yet regarding Cornley’s future. We just want to help him settle his legal problems first. Then we’ll think about other things.”
Yeng said the owners of Rain or Shine were kind enough to pay for the damages at the hotel caused by Cornley’s wild rampage.
Since the PBA third conference will not start until August, Raymond said there’s plenty of time to weigh matters before they decide on the fate of Cornley.
“Besides, much will depend on what PBA commissioner Chito Salud has to say,” Raymond pointed out.
But at least the import has shown signs of remorse, according to Raymond.
“He (Cornley) has apologized to everyone in the team, to my mother, my father, etc., for what he has done. He also thanked us all. He looked very contrite. He’s basically a good guy.”
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