Shawn Porter and Kate Abdo interview Manny Pacquiao

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Premier Boxing Champions 18 August, 2021 - 07:32pm 33 views

What time is the Manny Pacquiao fight?

The Pacquiao vs. Ugas card takes place on Saturday, August 21. The main card begins at 9 p.m. ET in the United States and at 2 a.m. DAZN News USManny Pacquiao vs. Yordenis Ugas: Date, fight time, TV channel and live stream

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'This is a once in a lifetime guy': Manny Pacquiao's boxing records may never be broken

Yahoo Sports 18 August, 2021 - 11:16am

Dan Wetzel, Pat Forde, Pete Thamel

Andy Behrens, Dalton Del Don, Matt Harmon, Liz Loza, Scott Pianowski

You Pod to Win the Game

On Nov. 16, 2003, Barrera defended his crown in San Antonio against Manny Pacquiao. Freddie Roach was a little more than two years into his run training Pacquiao, and was supremely confident Pacquiao would win.

So on a trip to Las Vegas, he tried to make a bet on Pacquiao. There were wildfires in California where Barrera was training and it put the fight in jeopardy, so Roach couldn’t get his bet in.

While waiting to weigh-in, Pacquiao came across a pool table and told Roach he would sink all eight balls with one shot.

“I know it’s a trick shot, but it still can’t be easy to do,” Roach said.

Pacquiao lined the balls up, positioned the cue ball and then took his shot. Roach was astounded. And he quickly made a call to the sportsbook.

“After I saw him do that and how good he’d looked in training, I knew he’d win,” Roach said.

The over-under was 11 full rounds, so Roach bet the under. After the ninth, he urged Pacquiao to go for it. Pacquiao stepped on the gas and Barrera’s corner threw in the towel.

It was, to that point, Pacquiao’s greatest victory. And it proved to Roach that he was capable of hitting dizzying heights in the boxing game. He had everything a trainer could ask for physically, but he was also as coachable as anyone Roach had ever seen and loved to work out.

“My problem wasn’t getting him to the gym,” Roach said. “It was getting him out.”

He figured after the Barrera fight that Pacquiao would do astounding things in boxing, but as he discussed some of the Filipino senator’s staggering achievements, he couldn’t believe it.

Pacquiao has been so great for so long that it is easy to forget all that he has accomplished.

Pacquiao, who on Saturday at 42 years of age will fight Cuban Yordenis Ugas at T-Mobile Arena for a welterweight title in the main event of a PPV card, holds three records that are far too under-publicized and may never be matched.

He’s held a major world title in four different decades, but because of the nonsense the WBA pulled in stripping him of the welterweight super championship, some could argue he hasn’t been a champion in the current decade.

But the WBA took the super title from Pacquiao in January and gave it to Ugas, who will fight Saturday for the first time since that gift. So if Pacquiao wins, that will end any argument there may be about the decades record.

He’s also the only man to hold the lineal championship in five divisions. He won lineal titles at flyweight, featherweight, super featherweight, super lightweight and welterweight. And he’s the only man to win titles in eight classes.

Those are achievements so staggering it’s hard to imagine anyone being able to repeat them.

“What the Senator has done, and what he continues to do, I should add, is remarkable,” said Sean Gibbons, the president of MP Promotions. “He’s gone out there against the best in the world for so long and there are fighters who never do that, and he’s still done all these remarkable things.”

Having held a title in eight weight classes — flyweight, super bantamweight, featherweight, super featherweight, lightweight, super lightweight, welterweight and super welterweight — means he’s been champion in nearly half of the sport’s 17 weight divisions. It seems unlikely that heavyweight champions Tyson Fury or Anthony Joshua will step up to give him a chance to make that No. 9, but it’s still mind-boggling.

Championships are easier to attain now, with four sanctioning bodies handing out belts and 17 weight classes in three of them and 18 in the fourth (WBC has added bridgerweight, which neither the IBF, the WBA nor the WBO recognizes).

So while it’s never been done before, it’s not inconceivable that a fighter could win in eight classes again, even if it is unlikely. Nine, though, is basically incomprehensible.

Roach said his favorite mark of all those that Pacquiao holds is winning in eight classes.

“I just don’t think you’ll ever see anyone do that again,” Roach said. “You think how hard it is to win in four classes and Manny did it in eight. That just blows my mind.”

The record that might be his most remarkable, though, is holding a title in each of four different decades. Canelo Alvarez, the sport’s pound-for-pound kingpin, has held titles in two decades at this point. So for him to match Pacquiao’s mark, he’d need to win a title in both the 2030s and 2040s.

In 2041, Alvarez will be 51 years old.

“When you saw that, it shows you how incredible what the Senator has done truly is,” Gibbons said.

Being the lineal champion in five classes is extremely difficult, too, and not just because of talent. It will take an elite fighter to be able to move up all those weights while winning belts, but the opportunity has to be there, too. Things lined up well for Pacquiao, but in the jumble that are today’s boxing ratings, that usually doesn’t occur.

Fighters are on different television networks which can prevent a match, or on different time schedules. For a lot of fighters, there is never the opportunity to be a lineal champion.

The most difficult is standing the test of time, which you have to do to accomplish both of the other feats but to an even greater degree when trying to win a title in four decades.

Pacquiao won the WBC flyweight title on Dec. 4, 1998, when Ugas was 12. When Ugas walks to the ring on Saturday, he’ll be 35. That was Pacquiao’s only world title of the 90s.

In the early 2000s, he won championships at super bantamweight, featherweight, super featherweight, lightweight, super lightweight and welterweight. That gave him championships in seven classes in the '00s.

In the '10s, he added a super welterweight title and in the '20s, he’s held the welterweight belt he won from Thurman in 2019.

“This guy has been amazing for me, amazing for this sport and for so many people,” Roach said. “This is a once in a lifetime guy.”

He has seven weight classes to go if he’s going to catch Pacquiao in titles — and the one he has is highly questionable because it's a gift from the WBA — but his story is no less dramatic.

Manny Pacquiao, who is nearly 43 years old and hasn't fought in 25 months, is a massive -350 favorite at BetMGM to defeat Yordenis Ugas.

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Sylveon And Mamoswine Are Coming To Pokemon Unite

ESPN 18 August, 2021 - 08:22am

Pokemon Unite launched on Nintendo Switch last month and is proving to be quite the hit. Pokemon's first foray into the MOBA world continues to generate a lot of interest and will only do so to an even bigger degree when it launches on mobile next month. Its roster will also continue to expand, as was confirmed during today's Pokemon Presents.

The initial roster is somewhat limited and it remains unclear how big it will get. All we do know for now is that at least three more playabale Pokemon will be added to the game in the future. Blastoise, whose eventual arrival was announced ahead of Unite's launch, and now Mamoswine and Sylveon. The two Pokemon were shown in action in Unite during the stream.

As for when the two new additions will be officially added to the roster, that remains unclear. If Blissey's arrival this week is anything to go by, and Gardevoir's shortly after launch, then the ice-type and the Eeveelution could be added to the game at any time. What their roles will be also wasn't mentioned, although it seems like that Mamoswine will be a defender, and Sylveon might well be an all-rounder.

Speaking of defenders, Unite's latest patch, which introduced the aforementioned Blissey, hit the biggest Pokemon in that role with quite the nerf. Those of you who use Snorlax will likely feel pretty different when playing the game today as the gen one Pokemon's stats have been greatly altered. Perhaps a switch to Mamoswine will be in order when it arrives, if it is indeed a defender.

Unite is available now on Nintendo Switch and will launch on mobile on September 22, 2021. It's free-to-play and has a growing roster and is updated regularly. The arrival dates of Mamoswine, Sylveon, and Blastoise are yet to be revealed. However, it seems likely the water-type will arrive before the two Pokemon announced today, especially since it was revealed at the same time as Gardevoir which has now been a playable Pokemon in-game for a number of weeks.

Josh has been gaming for as long as he can remember. That love began with a mild childhood addiction to the Sega Genesis, or Mega Drive since he lives in the UK. Back then, Sonic 2 quickly became his favorite game and as you might have guessed from his picture, the franchise has remained close to his heart ever since. Nowadays, he splits his time between his PS4 and his Switch and spends far too much time playing Fortnite. If you're a fan of gaming, wrestling, and soccer, give him a follow on Twitter @BristolBeadz.

Manny Pacquiao is a politician whose life is nonstop chaos. Why is he boxing again?

Los Angeles Times 16 August, 2021 - 05:30am

He is a legendary boxer, about to fight in his 82nd professional match. He is one of just 12 senators who govern the Philippines. And if that isn’t enough, he is an almost certain candidate for the country’s presidency on May 9, 2022.

His cup runneth over. His life is nonstop chaos. He is, daily, pulled in nine different directions before he can get his socks on. A main Olympic storyline in recent weeks was about athletes succumbing to demands on them, to the pressure of expectations. If the same were applied to Pacquiao, he should, by now, be a puddle of water.

Saturday, at the 20,000-seat T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, he will step into a boxing ring again. At least that part should be simple. One venue, one opponent, let the fists fly. But like everything in boxing, and in Pacquiao’s life, the uncertain reigns.

Tuesday, he and his camp got word that the fighter he was to meet, highly regarded and unbeaten Errol Spence Jr., had to pull out. Spence had a torn retina in his left eye, a serious injury that might not have merely spoiled Spence’s big payday against Pacquiao, but also his career. Pacquiao, with the veteran poise of an air traffic controller, immediately issued a politically correct and sympathetic statement that said, “Thank God that the tear in Errol’s eye was discovered before it could be damaged further.”

Then he and his team got to work on a reclamation project. The fight. There would be another one, there would be a storyline and there would remain an opportunity for people to go to Vegas and buy tickets or sit at home and fork over the pay-per-view price. In the cash flow arena, boxing has a way of ending up on its feet.

Ugas is from Cuba. He won a bronze medal in the 2008 Olympics. His record is 26-4, with 21 knockouts. With slightly more than a week to recalibrate the hype machine, the new mantra became: Stolen title now needing to be claimed for real in the ring.

With Spence, his youth and size and unbeaten record had become the tease for wagers that Pacquiao would lose, especially since Pacquiao is 42 and should be worn and vulnerable by now. But then, that’s what drove the betting on Thurman, who was put on the canvas twice, once on a body shot. Now, Spence’s replacement, with a title by default and a resume that seems less than ready for prime time, is only seven years younger than Pacquiao.

The other storyline being pushed is that Spence is a lefty, Pacquiao was preparing for a lefty in sparring, and Ugas is right-handed, so Pacquiao might be underprepared. Go ahead. Take that to the betting window.

The only real story is that Pacquiao is fighting again.

All this began for him at age 16, fighting and winning at 108 pounds. He had no trouble making weight because he seldom had enough to eat. Well before that first pro fight, he left home because he had become just one more mouth to feed. He scrambled as a street urchin, taking home what he could and boxing wherever they would hand him a few pesos.

Now, after winning 12 titles in an unprecedented eight divisions and starting to slip into the conversation about best boxers of all-time, he will put himself out there again. Which raises the obvious question: Why?

“Boxing is my passion,” he says, answering the same question the same way for the 14,296th time, while smiling and looking around the walls of the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood. There are pictures of him everywhere, with scores of celebrities and a like number of trophies and title belts. There are three giant flags on the west wall — Mexico, the United States and the Philippines. Around him, younger boxers slug the heavy bag and exhale with a noise at each contact that would send your house pet scurrying to hide under the couch. Bells clang to halt sparring. Then more to start it. The smell of sweat is overwhelming, and that’s just from the photographers.

His soulmate, advisor, buddy and strategist is Freddie Roach, who owns Wild Card, has been with him for 21 years and all those titles, and has survived dozens of other advisors, physical trainers, hustlers, schemers and sycophants. Roach is 61, had 53 pro fights — “Ten more than I should have” — and now carries on despite suffering from the effects of Parkinson’s Disease.

To be Pacquiao’s main cornerman includes doing the mitts, which means putting pads on each hand and moving them for a sequence of hard punches. If Pacquiao gets the sequence wrong, or the mitt isn’t in the right place, Roach gets hit. Roach occasionally spends his evenings with his hands in ice. Sometimes his head. That he can still do this, despite Parkinson’s, is exceptional.

Roach, whose gym business thrives even without Pacquiao around, says that Pacquiao is the “best thing that ever happened to me.” He recalls their first meeting.

“Muhammad Ali had just come in and visited the gym,” he says. “I was thrilled and said something like I hoped someday the next Ali would walk in. Two weeks later, he did. This skinny little kid from the Philippines was looking for somebody to do mitts.”

It was 2000, and very quickly, they got thrown into a title fight as a substitute, going against a bantamweight champion (123 pounds) defending his title. They were told they had no chance. They were told wrong. Pacquiao won with a technical knockout and has never looked back.

Nor has he stopped venturing out. Long before he decided to run for office, Pacquiao’s desire to “help the people” evolved through philanthropy, although not the usual start-a-foundation-and-write-a-check role. He made millions on his fights in Las Vegas and would return to the Philippines, rest a few days and then welcome the gathering of people outside his home in General Santos City, in the southern part of the country. People needed help. He remembered his days on the street. They lined up outside. He gave them food and money.

Manny Pacquiao, 37, is training for his Nov. 5 bout in Las Vegas against World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Jessie Vargas.

Soon, he heard of problems of the area fisherman. They could no longer row out far enough to get to the fish they needed to catch. So, he bought them outboard motors. Hundreds of them. More recently, he decided to focus on the housing crisis near him. He bought land and built 1,000 homes, then gave them away.

“I went to tell them they had a new house,” he says. “They couldn’t believe it at first. I told them the house was theirs, that they owed no money. They cried and then I cried.”

Now, this magnanimity has taken on a much bigger challenge, one with international implications. The boxer with the big heart, whose second most frequent utterance after “Boxing is my passion” is “I want to help the people,” may become the Philippines’ president.

That of course, like anything in Philippines’ politics — or perhaps politics anywhere — is fraught.

Sen. Pacquiao is one of a handful of people expected to run in the May 2022 election. Polls currently have his prospects of winning rated near the middle or below. The current president, Rodrigo Duterte, whose term will expire, is from the same political party as Pacquiao and has been a longtime ally. That ended recently when Pacquiao called him out for his soft stance on China and on perceived corruption in Duterte’s health services department and its COVID-19 response. Pacquiao says some $10.4 billion in public funds earmarked for virus relief have disappeared.

Duterte responded by calling Pacquiao “punch drunk” and has now floated the idea that he will run for vice president alongside his daughter Sara, who will be the presidential candidate. Nepotism in politics? Who knew?

“I hate corruption,” Pacquiao says, “The only way my country can move forward is to stop the corruption.”

Pacquiao is a boxing senator in a bulletproof vest. He carries on, the ever-present little grin on his face. His working axiom, from Winston Churchill, is on the wall at Wild Card: “You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.”

In the Philippines, they speculate that Pacquiao is fighting again to boost his presidential campaign, both for financial and image reasons. When he stunned the boxing world two years ago by beating the bigger, stronger, younger Thurman, his political stature rose. Beating Spence would have invoked a similar reaction. Beating Ugas, not so much. But in the Philippines, there are those who don’t even think about the opponent. They just wonder how much boxing damage one of their political leaders should risk.

Roach sees past all of that. He has it plotted out.

“I want two more,” he says. “I want this one and one where the president of the Philippines defends his boxing title.”

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Bill Dwyre was a three-times-weekly sports columnist for the Los Angeles Times from 2006-15. Before that, he was sports editor of the paper for 25 years. Dwyre was named national editor of the year by the National Press Foundation in 1985 for the paper’s coverage of the ’84 Olympics and winner of the Red Smith Award in 1996 by the Associated Press Sports Editors for sustained excellence in sports journalism. He was sports editor of the Milwaukee Journal from 1973 to 1981, when he joined The Times. Dwyre was named National Headliner Award winner in 1985, sportswriter of the year in Wisconsin in 1980 and sportswriter of the year in California in 2009.

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