Pacquiao sought-after in US TV shows

Pacquiao sought-after in US TV shows
Manny Pacquiao (Left) and Jimmy Kimmel.

LAS VEGAS - Manny Pacquiao shortened his training at the Wild Card gym in Hollywood on Wednesday so he could rush to the taping of a show on ABC with popular celebrity psychologist Dr. Phil McGraw.

During the show, Pacquiao joked that he was fighting Mayweather only for the "millions and millions and millions of dollars" he had been offered for the May 2 (May 3 in Manila) fight.

Appearing on the Jimmy Kimmel live show later, he gifted Kimmel with an MP beanie and baseball cap, and did a duet with him of his entrance song for the Mayweather fight.

No pressure

The song, "Lalaban Ako para sa Pilipino," drew cheers from the waving crowd as the two crooned.

Talking of the superfight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Pacquiao said he felt no pressure at all despite going up against a talented, undefeated fighter like Mayweather.

He said that Mayweather, being a favourite, gave him "motivation, courage."

Fighting as underdog

"I haven't been an underdog since 2008," Pacquiao said, referring to the "Dream Match" against Oscar De La Hoya, whom he stopped by an eighth round technical knockout also at MGM Grand.

Kimmel asked if he could be Pacquiao's "Justin Bieber." Bieber, the Canadian pop star, accompanies Mayweather during his fight entrances.

"I'll sing, I'll dance. I'll fight Justin Bieber," pleaded the comedian.

"I'll think about it," Pacquiao said.

Toward a Manila fight

But whatever happens in Las Vegas, the Filipino champion expressed his preference to fight next at home.

"Why not?" Pacquiao replied to a suggestion that he fight in the Philippines after Mayweather to promote the country as a tourism destination and give more Filipino fans a chance to see him fight.

"We have the venue, like the Philippine Arena," Pacquiao said. "That can be arranged. I'd like to be able to do that before I retire from boxing."

Evolution

In separate interviews with Philippine television networks ABS-CBN and GMA 7, Pacquiao talked briefly on various topics, including retirement and his evolution as a fighter.

He said he became a much better fighter when he evolved from a one-punch southpaw to a two-fisted attacker in the hands of trainer Freddie Roach, who developed his right hand to make him a complete fighter.

"I became a better and an experienced fighter," he said.

More time with family

Pacquiao, a member of the Philippine Congress, also said he planned to concentrate on his work as a public servant and devote more time to his family when he retires from boxing.

However, the 36-year-old Pacquiao, a veteran of 64 professional fights in two decades of boxing, did not say when he would hang up his gloves.

The two-term representative of Sarangani province did not say if he would seek higher office, but he expressed the hope that he would see the time when there will be no Filipinos suffering in poverty.

Sensational knockout

Pacquiao had been fighting mostly out of the country since he rose to stardom with a sensational knockout of Marco Antonio Barrera of Mexico in Las Vegas in 2003.

The last time Pacquiao fought in the Philippines was when he decisioned Oscar Larios, also of Mexico, over 12 rounds at the Araneta Coliseum.

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