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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Rock star treatment for Pacquiao in Las Vegas

MANILA, Philippines – Pandemonium broke out as boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao was formally welcomed like a rock star at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila).

Chants of “Manny! Manny! Manny!" broke out the moment Pacquiao stepped out of the customized passenger bus in front of the hotel lobby for the arrival rite that’s part of promotion for his showdown with Ricky Hatton.

Wearing a printed polo shirt topped by a black suite to complement his black pedora hat, Pacquiao smiled for the cameras and waved to the more than 200 people that gathered outside and inside the hotel lobby.

Just before him walked his mother Aling Dionisia, who experienced for the first time the kind of reception her son has been receiving here as a boxing star.

Behind the star of the show followed his long-line of entourage that included trainer Freddie Roach, assistant Michael Moorer, close adviser Michael Konz, and other members of Team Pacquiao.

The ceremony was supposed to have Pacquiao granting interviews and answering a few questions, but Top Rank Promotions decided to do away with it after the mayhem created by his arrival.

“This is insane," said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum, smiling but obviously stunned by the huge number of crowd that turned up for the event. “If we had stopped to do interviews, we could have been killed."

“Luckily we got him (Pacquiao) to the suite, because he could have been trampled if we stay down here."

After resting at his room on the 60th floor, Pacquiao sweat it out at the IBA gym with Roach at around 1 p.m. Early in the day, he jogged at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas campus and did some stitch muscle workout prepared by conditioning coach Alex Ariza to enhance his speed without losing power.

In contrast, 24 Oras reported that a lot less turned up for the formal welcome for Hatton over at the MGM Grand Hotel. Without Pacquiao's swarm of eager fans, the “Hitman" was able to accommodate the international media for a chat. –GMANews.TV


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