World Boxing champion Manny Pacquiao with wife Jinky during his 31st birthday party in General Santos City in the southern Philippines on December 17, 2009 (Mindanao Examiner Photo / Mark Navales)
Manny Pacquiao admitted he and his coaching staff composed of trainer Freddie Roach and conditioning adviser Alex Ariza “are not really focused on the knockout” but admitted that “I would be excited about the knockout if it comes”.
“We have prepared ourselves to fight 12 rounds,” said Pacquiao, who packed up for a trip to Las Vegas, Nevada May 2 for his 12-round WBO 147-lb joust with Sugar Shane Mosley on May 7. “We work hard and if it (KO) comes, it comes.”
Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 KOs) acknowledged that “Mosley moves fast and has great foot speed and power also. He throws a lot of punches and that’s good for us to give the fans a good fight.”
The Filipino celebrity said his championship tussle with Mosley (46-6-1, 39 KOs) will be “a kind of fight that’s better than (Antonio) Margarito”, who was a bit slower despite his reach and height advantage.
Margarito lost to both Mosley (TKO8) and Pacquiao (12 UD) and is the common denominator in analyses of oddsmakers who predicted a bloody brawl between two hard-hitting welterweights on May 7 at the MGM Grand.
Pacquiao took a time out from his training camp in Wild Card Gym over the weekend by promoting his cologne, “MP8 Scent of The Champion”, in a big mall here.
He had also guested at Jimmy Kimmel Show in Hollywood where he promoted his newly released CD album "Sometimes when we touch" and confirmed he personally invited Pres. Barack Obama during his visit to White House last December to watch his fight against Mosley at ringside.
Pacquiao disclosed his Washington visit had been facilitated by Nevada Sen. Harry Reid (D).
Referee Bayless ready to pull the plug if it’s Pacquiao in trouble
When referee Kenny Bayless embraced Miguel Angel Cotto to protect him from harm 55 seconds gone in the 12th and final stanza and declared Pacquiao the winner by technical knockout (TKO) on Nov. 14, 2009, in Las Vegas, Nevada, he told this writer in an exclusive interview, “I needed to save Cotto‘s life.”
Bayless said he would have done the same if Pacquiao was the one on the queer street.
“When I stopped the fight, it did not matter whether the one receiving the punishment was the champion or the challenger; the most important was I saved a life,” said Bayless, who turned 61 last April 4.
He emphasized that “the primary obligation of a referee is to protect the boxers and ensure that the rules of professional sports are upheld”.
Nevada-based Bayless will officiate Pacquiao’s fight for the fifth time on May 7 when the Filipino best boxer pound-for-pound squares off with Sugar Shane Mosley for 12-round WBO 147-lb crown at the MGM Grand.
Bayless was third man on the ring when Pacquiao avenged his points loss to Erik Morales with a smashing 10th round TKO win for the WBC international super featherweight title on January 1, 2006 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Bayless pulled the plug at 2:33 in the 10th round when Pacquiao unleashed a murderous rampage that nearly tore the Mexican to pieces.
The tall black ring arbiter also terminated the bout when Ricky Hatton collapsed like a sack of potatoes 2:59 off in the second round after being bludgeoned by a solid left of he jaw by Pacquiao for the IBO light welterweight championship on May 2, 2009.
The other Pacquiao fight where Bayless played a yeoman’s job was on March 15, 2008 when the Filipino lefty ran away with a split decision win over Juan Manuel Marquez for the WBC super featherweight belt at the Mandalay Bay and Casino Resort.
Bayless administered a mandatory 8-count on Marquez after being knocked down by Pacquiao’s left hook in the third canto of the 12-round duel which was a rematch of their first bout that ended in split draw.
Bayless was the referee when Mosley nearly sank Floyd Mayweather in the second round on May 1, 2010 at the MGM Grand.
Unable to put away the slick-punching Mayweather, Mosley lost by unanimous decision.
In a recent article, Boxingconfidential.com spoke highly of Bayless: "There’s only one referee that should be utilized in Las Vegas super-bouts and his name is Kenny Bayless. Every time I’ve seen Mr. Bayless referee a fight, I’ve seen him always control the bout with the highest degree of fairness, firmness, and accuracy."
Judges ‘friendly’ to both Mosley, Pacquiao
Two of the three veteran boxing judges assigned to decide the fate of Pacquiao and Mosley have decided favorably for both protagonists in their past fights.
Duane Ford and Dave Moretti both saw Pacquiao and Mosley winners in a combined 15 fights while third judge Glenn Trowbridge scored for Pacquiao three times in as many fights where he was judge.
Paquiao has not lost in the scorecards of Ford, the oldest at 71, who scored for Pacquiao 120-108 against Joshua Clottey on March 13, 2010 for WBO welterweight title; 108-99 against Miguel Angel Cotto en route to 12th round TKO on Nov. 14, 2009 for WBO welterweight crown; 115-112 against Juan Manuel Marquez (12 split decision) on March 15, 2008 for WBC super featherweight title.
Ford saw Mosley winner in three of four fights he officiated involving his fellow American. He scored for Mosley 118-109 against Luis Collazo (12 UD) for WBC interim welterweight title on Feb. 10, 2007; 98-92 against Jose Luis Cruz (10 UD) on Sept. 17, 2005; and 115-113 against Oscar De La Hoya for WBC super light middleweight and IBA light middleweight titles on Sept. 13, 2009.
Ford gave Mosley a failing grade, 113-115 when he lost to Wrinky Wright for WBC super light middleweight title on Nov. 20, 2004.
Moretti, a referee-judge, scored 80-71 for Pacquiao against De La Hoya (TKO 8) on December 6, 2008; 86-85 against Erik Morales in a rematch (TKO 10) on January 21, 2006. He gave Pacquiao a failing mark, 113-115, against Morales in their first meeting (12 UD) on March 19, 2005.
Moretti voted against Mosley, 109-119, when he lost to Floyd May weather (12 UD) om March 1, 2010; 111-117 when he lost to Wright in their first fight (12 UD) on March 13, 2004.
Mosley passed the test in Moretti’s card in his fight against Fernando Vargas, 50-45 (TKO 6); 99-91 against David Estrada (W 10) on April 23, 2005 and against Wilfredo Rivera, 86-85, (KO 10) on September 25, 1999.
Trowbridge, also a referee-judge, saw Pacquiao ahead, 10-7, against Ricky Hatton (KO2)on May 2, 2009; 118-109 against Marco Antonio Barrera (UD 12) in their rematch on Oct. 6, 2007; and 18-11 against Erik Morales (TKO 6) in their third meeting on Nov. 18, 2006.
Ford, Moretti, and Trowbridge are all from the state of Nevada.(Alex Vidal)