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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pacman mobbed in Vegas

LAS VEGAS – Unless they put the Secret Service on him, there’ll be no more grand arrivals in hotel lobbies for Manny Pacquiao.

Bob Arum of Top Rank said that for safety reasons, he’d rather have the extremely popular Filipino boxer just popping out of his hotel room window and waving down at his fans and the media in his future fights.

“This is insane but it’s not surprising. He could have been trampled if we stayed down here,” said Arum after making sure that Pacquiao was in one piece, up in his 60th floor suite, after getting a tumultuous welcome.

Pacquiao and his huge entourage, including his mother, Dionisia, trainers Freddie Roach and Michael Moorer, advisers Mike Koncz and Wakee Salud, and friends always glued to the boxer, got off their bus at noon.

Then it was all “close to being dangerous” as Pacquiao was literally mobbed. Lee Samuels of Top Rank said they haven’t seen anything like this before, not even during Oscar dela Hoya fights.

Pacquiao was like a human magnet as he squeezed tightly inside the main lobby of Mandalay Bay. In the past, he’d stop for brief interviews, but this time, Arum just won’t allow it to happen.

“It would have been a dangerous situation. When I saw what was developing I got him right up to his suite. I think this will be Manny’s last arrival. Next time we’ll put him up in a window and he waves at them,” said Arum.

The legendary promoter wasn’t blaming anyone. He said it was understandable that with Pacquiao’s popularity, everybody wants to get a piece of him.

“They told me that in the Time Magazine poll, in the 100 most influential people in the world, Manny Pacquiao has now officially outpolled, and got more votes than President Obama. Hey! Here’s the new President of the Philippines,” said Arum.

When the smoke cleared, the first thing Arum did was call the MGM Grand where Ricky Hatton was to have his own arrival ceremony.

“I alerted them of the situation and I told them not to get out of the car,” said Arum, and MGM took the cue, by lining up velvet ropes from the main entrance all the way up to the makeshift ring where the British star greeted his fans and did interviews.

“This is as close to being dangerous. Luckily we have here Rob Peters (Team Pacquiao head of security) and we got him out,” as he looked back.

“And they wanted to make interviews. If we stopped for interviews he would have been killed,” said Arum with a little exaggeration.


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