Friday, December 18, 2009

No talk of boxing as Pacquiao marks birthday in GenSan

By NICK GIONGCO


GENERAL SANTOS CITY — For a moment during his lavish 31st birthday celebration on Thursday night, Manny Pacquiao hardly spoke about the sport that has given him an unimaginable amount of fame and fortune.

Instead of regaling his guests with stories about his ring exploits, Pacquiao instead let the occasion take its natural course, allowing a bevy of guests share the limelight with him during his special day.

There were several high points during the close-to-six hour affair, including a dance number featuring his sons Jimuel and Michael Stephen and daughter Princess, and a rendition of the Carpenters’ classic “You Are The One” by wife Jinkee, who was radiant in her aquamarine gown.

There was no mention of Floyd Mayweather, who is being penciled to meet him on March 13, 2010, and the pound-for-pound king also was a bit surprised that negotiations have come to a stop after the promoters had initially laid the groundwork for the super fight.

“I don’t know, I don‘t know,” Pacquiao answered when asked about the status of the Mayweather bout being eyed either for the MGM Grand in Las Vegas or the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas.

But a conversation with a member of Pacquiao’s training team, two-time world champion Dodie Boy Penalosa, said he has been advised about the start of training by the second or third week of January either in Baguio City or Los Angeles.

Still, Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum said he expects to finally dot the Is and cross the Ts, in a matter of days. The MGM Grand in Las Vegas and the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas for slugging it out for the right to host the showdown.

Meanwhile, Pacquiao was officially sworn in as a member Nacionalista Party of presidential aspirant Manny Villar shortly after the birthday bash. The oath-taking rites were held at Pacquiao’s palatial home.

Pacquiao is seeking a congressional seat in Sarangani province next year.

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