Interview: IBF superbantamweight champion Manny "The Destroyer" Pacquiao

By Dennis Principe

14.07 - MANILA, Philippines - Being the present toast of Philippine boxing, IBF superbantamweight champion Manny "The Destroyer" Pacquiao always makes it a point that his image as the current role model of Philippine sports does not get tainted with any controversy, most especially if the issue involves money.

Despite Pacquiao's effort to give his career an unblemished image, his managers seem to ignore whatever plans the boxer is doing. Pacquiao's business manager, Rod Nazario is currently entangled in what seems to be a legal battle against the boxer's manager, Marty Elorde for the rights to manage Pacquiao's career.

Nazario's rights to negotiate any contract regarding Pacquiao's future matches was revoked after he reportedly signed a number of contracts without the knowledge of Elorde, son of legendary world jr. lightweight champion Gabriel "Flash" Elorde.

East Side Boxing recently had a chat with Pacquiao (34-2-1, with 26 KOs, ) a native of General Santos City and shared his thought on the current situation of his managers.

There seems to be a faction in your team and both wants to take control of your career. What can you say about this?

I respect both Mr. Elorde and Mr. Nazario. I don't want to take sides because I believe this is just a small problem. I want them both to work hand in hand and forget about their personal bickerings. We are a team and we are doing this for the good of Philippine boxing.

Have you talked with anyone of them and personally made a move to settle everything?

Not yet. I believe they can solve their problems by themselves. Actually, while they are busy doing their stuff, I am taking this as a sort of advantage to be with my family and to take care of my "Manny Pacquiao Foundation". I am confident that they can patch things up and eventually plan the next move of my career

What's this "Manny Pacquiao Foundation"?

I set this up, with the help of my family and some politicians, to lend a helping hand to all active and retired Filipino boxers. In setting this up, it is my hope that the foundation can give Filipino boxers pensions as well as scholarships for their children.

What can you say about the three-year, $2.5 million offer of Lou DiBella which was eventually withdrawn as a result of your managers disagreements?

I am really very thankful to DiBella for showing his belief in me. I was really contemplating in signing that contract but I needed more time to study it. I guess his deadline was not enough for me and my managers to carefully study his offer. It was also unfortunate that the offer came at a time when my team was having some misunderstandings. But whatever happened, I would rather charge it to experience. Hopefully it will serve as a lesson for me and my managers to give more importance to opportunities like what DiBella gave us rather that waste their time in making useless arguments.

Are you still expecting more offers from other groups?

I hope so. I also hope my managers will exert efforts to give me the best offer out there. I still trust my managers a lot.

San Francisco-based lawyer Sydney Hall who also played a role in your US campaign was qouted as saying that you should do what Roy Jones, Jr. is doing when it comes to making decisions about his career. According to Sydney, Roy asserts himself as the boss in making plans about his career when talking with his managers. Are you in favor of this?

That seems to be a nice idea. However, I owe it a lot to my managers. They also took pains in making me what I am right now. Besides, I don't want people to think that just because I am now a world champion I can now ignore whatever plans my managers have for me. I still believe my managers can patch things up and work as a Team.

UPDATE: Pacquiao is preparing for a three-round exhibition against Jesus "Hawaiian Punch" Salud on August 20 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The main event will be a match between WBC number one superflyweight contender Gerry Peñalosa of the Philippines and Seiji Tanaka of Japan. This will serve as Peñalosa's last tune-up fight before he faces WBC champion Masamori Tokuyama of Japan on November 8.

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