Manny Pacquiao’s entourage plus one | Inquirer Sports
Southpaw

Manny Pacquiao’s entourage plus one

/ 01:37 AM March 10, 2014

SACRAMENTO, California—They are apt to whistle a happy tune now that the boss has landed in California.

They are certainly adding an extra spring in their step and are likely stumbling over each other to do anything for the man.

Since Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao returned stateside Saturday night to continue training at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym, there’s joy in La La land; there should be utter delight among the Filipino ring icon’s Hollywood entourage.

The regulars in his retinue will be surrounding the fighting congressman from Sarangani as the days dwindle before he squares off with Timothy Bradley in a rematch at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas April 12.

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And in the throbbing minutes after the grudge fight, the same group is sure to form a gallery of faces when HBO cameras zoom in on Pacquiao as the ring royalty that he is speaks to boxing’s captive masses.

The usual suspects have become familiar to pay-per-view audiences around the world.

The size of Manny’s minions may have swelled or shrunk through the years. But their ranks include characters you won’t see via PPV.

Among the more recent hangers-on in Team Pacquiao is a former broadcast reporter who snags media accreditation to Manny’s mega fights every time, and who, in his own mind, thinks he holds a significant sway with the eight-division champion.

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Little does he know that he has painted himself as a court jester in Pacquiao’s court in the eyes of Manila and US-based Filipino sportswriters constantly on deadline while chronicling a Pacquiao fight.

One of the enterprising scribes told me the ex-broadcaster’s exploits are downright annoying, since he usually hogs the microphone during press conferences before and after Manny’s ring appearances.

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At one time, the erstwhile radioman even announced in his modulated voice and to the Pinoy scribes’ horror that he represented Manila colleagues who lack the confidence to ask questions.

“The man also seems to corner the market for assignment letters from Manila editors when he shows up for accreditation in Vegas,” the scribe who lives in California complained.

“Mr. Wonderful even had the gall to boast during a press conference that he spoke for the five biggest daily newspapers in the Philippines.”

During the postfight conference of Manny’s knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012, the guy had his biggest brush with notoriety.

He managed to incur the ire of Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum. “For monopolizing the press conference, a visibly annoyed Arum in his booming voice told our guy to sit down,” the scribe said.

But the most bizarre part of the sycophant’s misadventures in Vegas is his brazen attempt to play editor and censor to the deadline beaters.

“Let me look at your copy before you send it to your editor,” he once demanded of me and another colleague in the heat of deadline,” according to the California scribe.

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“Somebody has to expose this person for the phony that he is.” I guess what happens in Vegas does not always stay in Vegas.

TAGS: Bob Arum, Manny Pacquiao, Tim Bradley

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