Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pacquiao Nice Guy no more

They’ve been telling the public that they’re friends and there’s nothing personal between them. But there’s a feeling of revulsion whenever Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez are within spitting distance of each other as evidenced by their actions in Manila and New York and here on Tuesday during the dizzying four-city press tour promoting their Nov. 12 trilogy. The last few times he has fought, Pacquiao has been very friendly with his foes to the extent that he has been oftentimes criticized for being too nice to them. Pacquiao horsed around with Ricky Hatton during a darts exhibition match in Manchester, posed for pictures with Miguel Cotto’s kids in Puerto Rico, burst into laughter during a staredown with Joshua Clottey in Dallas and smiled a lot and shook hands frequently with Shane Mosley in Las Vegas. But with Marquez, the feeling is not all too the same and the sentiment is that the lid will blow over when they let loose their furious fists at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in two months time. One could easily count the times when Pacquiao and Marquez shook hands and during their third face-off at the Beverly Hills Hotel, they only got to shake hands once and they did it without even looking each other in the eye. “They never did (break into laughter),” acknowledged trainer Freddie Roach. Pacquiao looked stern and didn’t break a smile when he was requested by the photographers for the customary staredown, unlike during the buildup to the Clottey and Mosley bouts when it took only a fraction of a second before he erupted in laughter. In the Philippines over the weekend, Marquez regaled the media, saying that while he remains bitter over the result of their first two fights, he has grown to respect the man many regard as worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as Joe Louis and Muhammad Ali. From what they have exhibited the last couple of days, Marquez and Pacquiao have been frugal in showering each other with praises and it remains to be seen whether Marquez will revert back to being a diplomat when the tour makes its fourth and last stop in Mexico City on Thursday. The last time Pacquiao acted unreceptive was against the brash Erik Morales and that was five years ago. That feeling of hatred is back again, said Pacquiao lawyer Franklin Gacal, who has been told many times by the pound-for-pound king about his animosity towards Marquez. “Galit siya kay Marquez,” said Gacal on board a private plane that took Team Pacquiao to Toluca, Mexico, late Wednesday night. “Nanggigigil siya.”

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