Mommy D says ‘place your bets’

Joaquin M. Henson - The Philippine Star

LAS VEGAS – Manny Pacquiao’s lucky charm is in town and Mommy Dionisia Dapidran said she’s not nervous about her son’s fight against WBO welterweight champion Timothy Bradley at the MGM Grand Garden Arena here Saturday night (Sunday morning, Manila time).

Mommy Dionisia was in the US for Pacquiao’s biggest wins over Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito. She was back in the arena when Pacquiao badly outclassed Brandon Rios in Macau last year. Now, in what is a must-win fight for Pacquiao, she’s back to support her son against Bradley.

“I’m confident of victory,” said Mommy Dionisia in Filipino the other day. “I know Jinkee’s not here but our family is confident. I’m here to support Manny. My advice to Manny’s fans is to start placing bets.”

Jinkee is in General Santos City awaiting the birth of her fifth child, a boy. She is due to deliver at the end of the month.  Pacquiao knew from the start, Jinkee wouldn’t be at ringside for the Bradley rematch because of her pregnancy.

Pacquiao won’t be fighting on hostile territory even as Bradley is on home soil. MGM Grand Garden Arena has been the site of 10 Pacquiao bouts so far. It’s where Pacquiao made his US debut in 2001, halting Lehlo Ledwaba for the IBF superbantamweight crown. It’s also where Pacquiao lost to Bradley, Erik Morales and Juan Manuel Marquez. More than the setbacks, Pacquiao is remembered for beating Oscar de la Hoya, Hatton, Cotto and Sugar Shane Mosley in the building.

Bradley is a virtual stranger in Las Vegas, having fought here only thrice in 31 outings. He beat Joel Casamayor and Pacquiao at the MGM Grand Garden Arena and Marquez at the Thomas and Mack Center. Because of his cautious and defense-oriented style, Bradley isn’t a big crowd drawer. That’s why he’s not a popular attraction here. The first Pacquiao-Bradley bout posted about 890,000 pay-per-view hits only because the Desert Storm was a protagonist. Pacquiao has so far registered six pay-per-view appearances with at least one million buys. Bradley has never figured in a one million pay-per-view fight and last October, his boring win over Marquez racked up only 375,000. It remains to be seen if the Pacquiao-Bradley rematch will bring in at least one million.


Top Rank chairman Bob Arum said he’s confident of a pay-per-view blockbuster. “This is going to be a high-profile pay-per-view,” said Arum. “It’s going to do really big numbers. If Bradley can win this fight, he becomes an A-side. Maybe he doesn’t draw like a Pacquiao did or a Mayweather does as an A-side but he’ll still be a strong A-side who can get 700,000 or 800,000 buys if he fights (a notable opponent). That’s a big thing, to be an A-side like that. I think beating Pacquiao makes him an A-side.”

Pacquiao now ranks fifth in the all-time standings with a total of 12.2 million pay-per-view hits in his fights and third with gross revenues of $661 Million. After the rematch with Bradley, Pacquiao will tie De la Hoya for most pay-per-view bouts and climb to second overall with at least $700 Million in pay-per-view receipts.

Pacquiao, 35, hasn’t scored a win inside the distance since halting Cotto in 2009. His last five wins were on points. But against Bradley in a bid to regain the WBO title, Pacquiao vowed to be as aggressive as he was in disposing of De la Hoya, Hatton and Cotto. “I can still bring that aggressiveness and killer instinct and I can prove to the people and to the fans that I can still fight,” said Pacquiao. “I’m not done yet. My career in boxing is not done yet.”

Ring Magazine writer Norm Frauenheim recently said the legendary Henry Armstrong is “the historical version of Pacquiao.” “Armstrong, like Pacquiao, was known for a whirlwind, inexhaustible style with punching angles that defied common geometry,” said Frauenheim. “Armstrong fought for 15 years, nearly five fewer than Pacquiao, whose career began almost two decades ago as a 105-pound, 15-year-old on the impoverished streets of General Santos City.”












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