PBA board unanimous: Pacquiao will beat Mayweather

Manny Pacquiao smiles during a news conference Wednesday, April 29, 2015, in Las Vegas. Pacquiao will face Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a welterweight boxing match in Las Vegas on May 2. (AP Photo/John Locher)

MANILA, Philippines - The PBA board of governors, a collegial body hard to put together on contentious issues, is unanimous in the belief that Manny Pacquiao - a PBA family member as playing coach of the Kia team - will beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. in their mega boxing fight in Las Vegas on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).

PBA commissioner Chito Salud and the governors, led by chairman Patrick Gregorio, all foresee a Pacquiao victory. They differ only on their expectation on how the Filipino boxing icon will pound out the win.

Purefoods' Rene Pardo, Ginebra's Alfrancis Chua, Globalport's Eric Arejola, Barako Bull's Manny Alvarez, NLEX's Ronald Dulatre and board secretary Atty. Melvin Mendoza anticipate a knockout win while San Miguel Beer's Robert Non and Blackwater's Silliman Sy feel it will be via a decision.

The league commissioner and his special assistant Willie Marcial have flown to the United States to personally cheer for Pacquiao.

Before departing Manila, Salud said: "It's Manny. No ifs, no buts."

For the board chair, the quicker Pacquiao wins, the better so he can be back to the PBA soon.

Pardo, Chua, Arejola, Alvarez, Dulatre and Mendoza predicted Pacquiao would knock Mayweather out in the latter rounds.

Arejola and Dulatre said it would be on the eighth round, Chua by the ninth and Pardo, Mendoza and Alvarez from 10th to 12th.

"Manny has been waiting for this fight for years while Mayweather has been trying to avoid this for years. It would be the same on fight night. Manny would be the aggressive fighter. Mayweather would run for cover," said Chua.

"My prediction is made with emotions. Of course, we all want Manny to win," said Alvarez.

Non is afraid the gods of boxing might be ready with a script of a Pacquiao-Mayweather trilogy.

"It would be Pacquiao in the first fight, then Mayweather winning the rematch to set up a third fight," said Non. "Remember, this involved millions of dollars."

No Kia official attended the PBA board meeting Thursday. Chief executive officer Ginia Domingo, vice chairman Chito Santos and another top official Bobby Rosales might be in Las Vegas already.

After the meeting, Salud stressed the PBA is fully behind Pacquiao.

"We are all praying and rooting for Manny to win. His victories in the past have brought all of us tremendous pride and happiness. Beating Mayweather will be something really special as it will lift our hearts and spirits, and affirm Manny's status as the best boxer in the planet," said Salud.

"It will be difficult a task, but Manny has the tools and the will to accomplish that feat," added Salud, asking the nation to stand behind Pacquiao.

"When Manny says he fights for our people and country, he touches our hearts to its depths for we can feel his sincerity in saying that," said Salud.

"It's not about him, it's about us. How can we then not stand behind him 100 percent?" Salud added.

"The success of coach Manny is the success of the PBA and Philippine sports in general," said the board chair.

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