‘Pang-ngawat’/’pagtanggap’: The value of ‘receiving’ in Filipino Martial Arts

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This post is about the Ilokano and Tagalog ideas of ‘receiving’, or ‘pang-ngawat’ and ‘pagtanggap’, respectively. I start with a context in FMA training and conclude with possible applications in life. My point is that learning ‘pang-ngawat’ or ‘pagtanggap’ is vital to one’s development as an FMA practitioner, in particular, for it teaches the value of resilience, in general. ‘Pang-ngawat’ keeps the Ilokano grounded in reality and ‘pagtanggap’ keeps the Tagalog grounded in their own self-belief.

FMA context. There are two central training techniques in FMA: (1) copying a teacher’s moves and (2) training with a partner ‘to feed’ and ‘to receive’. Copying is the more elementary of the two for it involves no physical contact with another player. When we copy our teacher’s movements, we are at the very beginning stage of learning: we are passive consumers–neither expressing ourselves through our own natural movement, nor responding to an actual strike. While there is some degree of conceptual understanding to be achieved from copying, this training technique’s limitation is that the lesson cannot be felt, only imagined. It’s like learning a song, but singing it without feeling its full meaning.

Training against another player is more advanced. Your partner reacts and completes your movement with a counter-attack that you not only feel, but also anticipate sometimes with a healthy measure of fear and always with a dose of anxiety. In both training techniques, most students focus on learning proper offense–how to strike at every angle in the right form, right foot work, and with the right body mechanics–leading them to master how ‘to feed’.

Sam-and-Joe-Villasin-8

‘To feed’ in FMA is to offer a strike at a specific angle in proper form in order to achieve two goals: to execute a strike being learned, and, more importantly, to help the recipient learn how to react to the strike. ‘To receive’ is to respond to an offensive strike: to block, to deflect, and to grab. In the continuum of feeding and receiving, most learn primarily how to be on the offensive. Most learn ‘to feed’ routinely as structured lessons; most learn ‘to receive’ via thematic seminars as advanced specialties.

Most practitioners, then, primarily learn how to be hard, dismissing the lesson in being soft as conditional (learn only ‘to receive’ once I’m good enough or advanced enough). Intuitively, we know that most things that are hard full-time ultimately break under repeated stress, and that most things that flex, that absorb, bounce back. This tells us that learning how ‘to receive’ is equally important in our development as FMA practitioners. Indeed, knowing how to block well, to deflect well, and to grab well positions oneself for an effective counter-attack by developing one’s ability to sense an opponent’s true intention from feeling the direction of his/her strike.

blocking

In addition, knowing how ‘to receive’ in FMA helps us conquer our own fear and anxiety, while simultaneously magnifying these in our opponent. When you can receive a blow, you strengthen yourself and demoralize your opponent by showing him that you will not break despite his repeated attacks. Counterintuitively, when you can expertly receive a strike you form a shield, thus, the common term used for it in FMA, ‘sangga’.

Application in life. In Ilokano and Tagalog, the words used to mean ‘to receive’ are ‘pang-ngawat’ (pang-nga-wut) and ‘pagtanggap’ (pug-tang-gup), respectively. Understanding the depth of both terms extracts the culture-bound insight within them. Both have two primary meanings. ‘Pang-ngawat’ means both to receive and to understand; ‘pagtanggap’ means both to receive and to accept.

The combination of receiving and understanding in ‘pang-ngawat’ teaches us that ‘to understand’ has an additional dimension of ‘to receive openly’. The nuance in ‘pang-ngawat’ reminds us to be present when we perceive in order that we see, feel, and hear fully. If we are to be adaptive–if our goal is to interpret our environment accurately and respond to our environment in a way that meets our personal needs optimally–we must allow as much input in. Receiving openly is key in the process of understanding. Often, because we do see the value of having good understanding, we take in such a small subset of info that it is impossible to guard against that which is incomplete or biased. One consequence is we consume only information that fits our own worldview, and we lose our natural defense against our own biases. Needless to say, if our goal is to understand, we must, therefore, remember to first ensure our perceptions reflect reality, especially in an age when our online activity enables marketers to profile us and, through our gadgets, inundate us with targeted info they think we want to consume. We must go back to the basics and take more proactive control of the data we consume and operate with so that unexamined inaccurate data do not take hold. Because we adapt to what we perceive as real, we should not construct a warped reality defined by our biases.

The combination of receiving and accepting in ‘pagtanggap’ teaches us the value of finality, a necessary condition for moving on. The nuance in ‘pagtanggap’ reminds us to be accepting of what is. If we are to be adaptive, we must learn to accept the truth about the world and, more importantly, about ourselves. Accepting is a key dimension of receiving, philosophically and behaviorally. When we accept, we acknowledge what is real, what is true emotionally and cognitively, enabling us to respond to our environment in an adaptive way. ‘Pagtanggap’ is not associated with any one emotion: we are neither happy, nor sad; we just accept that it is what it is. When we deny what is real, we behave in a maladaptive way, and we don’t get our needs met because we act without acknowledging what our true needs are. We should be accepting of our true self–our weaknesses, our fears, our limitations–so that we can self-improve. Accepting oneself is key to building our own self-belief, to strengthening that which is weak, and to bettering ourselves.

The Ilokano and Tagalog are resilient people. One manifestation of their resilience is their spin on martial art, escrima and arnis. Because language and the vocabulary we create in it says a lot about how and what we think about the world, examining ‘pang-ngawat’ and ‘pagtanggap’ helps us benefit from the insight of the Ilokano and Tagalog. We learn, for example, that understanding and accepting are important dimensions of perceiving reality, or receiving it. These nuanced dimensions help us be more adaptive. In FMA, they show us the legitimate value of training ‘to receive’ not just ‘to feed’.

Photo credit: Sam Buot, Sr.  

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Pacquiao wins unprecedented 7th title!!!

(UPDATE) Pacquiao wins 7th world title

abs-cbnNEWS.com | 11/15/2009 1:39 PM

Referee stops fight as Pacquiao dominates the bout

MANILA – Pound-for-pound king and now WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao made boxing history after defeating Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto in their “Firepower” bout Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada (Sunday in Manila).

Click here for video highlights.

Pacquiao defeated Cotto after referee Kenny Bayles stopped the already lopsided contest via technical knockout in Round 12.

The Filipino boxing superstar is the first fighter to win seven world titles in seven different weight divisions. He also won the WBC diamond belt.

Pacquiao’s record improves to 50-3-2, with 37 knockouts while Cotto’s record slumps to 34-2, with 27 KOs.

Cotto started Round 1 by connecting a jab to Pacquiao but Pacman jabs back. Cotto connects with a left hook which threw Pacman back a bit. Cotto jabs again. Pacman tries to figure Cotto. Cotto seems to be jabbing effectively while Pacquiao seemed to be taking his time. Pacman then connects with 1-2. Pacman tries to slip, attacks, but Cotto holds. Cotto presses attack, Pacman lands left hook, wobbles Cotto a bit.

In Round 2 Pacman jabs then throw a left straight. Cotto fought back, seems to look faster than Pacman. Pacman keeps his hands up and defends self then he connects with left straight and then threw combinations. Cotto appeared to throw a low blow. Pacman rattles Cotto with big left hooks, explosive punches! Cotto seemed a bit hurt! Cotto tries to trap Pacman in the corner but Pacman escapes!

In Round 3 Cotto moves forward while Pacman positions himself at the center of the ring. Cotto connects with a left but then Pacman throws an explosive 1-2-3 combination and downs Cotto! Referee makes a standing count and resumed the fight. Cotto survives, Pacman attacks again. Pacman presses the fight, Cotto recovers. Both fighters unleash big bombs! Pacman jabs inside , connects with his left and darts out. Cotto told to keep punches high, Cotto pushes Pacman’s head down… bell rings! A big Round 3 for Pacman!

In Round 4, Cotto jabs and throws big left, Pacman retreats. Cotto threw body punches then Pacman throws 1-2, then upper cuts and cuts Cotto’s combo. Pacman assaults and Cotto knees seems to wobble. Referee separates them. Pacman on the ropes and waits for Cotto’s attacks then slips and escapes. Cotto is down again 20 seconds left in Round 4! Cotto is saved by the bell!

Cotto presses an attack in Round 5 but Pacman boxes from the distance, being careful. Pacman lands a combo again, forces Cotto to peek-a-boo defense. Pacman boxing beautifully, stays on the ropes. Pacman gets hit a bit, moves to the center, Pacman jabs and connects. Cotto holds, both fighters wrestle a bit and flurry of exchanges was made before the bell rings!

Cotto jabs to start Round 6 and moves forward, Pacman throws a hook, upper cut and connects with a big right hook! Cotto seemed affected but dances away while Pacman presses the action. Cotto, retreats but gets hit with 1-2. Pacman throws 1-2-3, Cotto holds. Cotto lands a jab, uses it effectively. Pacman attacks again! wobbles Cotto a bit. As the round ends, Cotto taps Pacman’s cheek and seemed to say: Good round!

Pacman throws a heavy right, Cotto reels a bit as Round 7 started. Cotto keeps his hands up, moves forward, throws a straight then a hook, Pacman seems unaffected. Pacman moves forward, dictating the pace. Cotto tries to dance away, Pacman hunts Cotto and connects 1-2 before the round ends.

As Round 8 started, Cotto now has bruises under the eyes while Pacquiao was getting confident. Cotto uses the ring to stay away from Pacman who was boxing beautifully. Cotto pecking away but Pacman traps him at the ropes. Cotto receives 1-2-3, before stepping away. Pacman stalks his prey, connects upper cut and hook and traps Cotto in the corner. Pacquiao was under control in Round 8. His combos were connecting as Cotto only counters once in a blue moon.

In Round 9, Cotto jabs again and Pacman hits his gloves together signaling: ‘Come on, fight!’ Cotto attacks with 1-2. Pacman fights back but Cotto holds! Cotto got trapped at the ropes. Cotto’s face is a mess, right eye swelling whle Pacman’s face remains clean. Pacman staks his prey again, Cotto retreats a bit.

Cotto attacks at the start of Round 10 and tries to control the fight. Pacman however keeps his defense and attacks again. Cotto tries to hold but Pacman stays away. Pacman walks forward to hunt Cotto down but Cotto seems always to retreat and uses the ring to stay away from Pacman. Pacman sighs, seems tired of chasing. Pacman picks the pace again. Cotto’s face is really a mess, nose bleeding, right eye puffed and has a small cut in the left brow. Cotto kept running around the ring in Round 10 like 20 times! Viewers ask if he’s trying to gather wind for one big one?

In Round 11 Cotto again continued to box away. The fight has shades of the Cotto-Margarito fight when the Puerto Rican was trying to stay away from Margarito. Pacman connected with 1-2-3-4 punches! Pacman tried to trap Cotto in the corner but Cotto moves away and jogs around. Cotto then jabbed with an apparent “stay away from me punch”. Cotto counter punches but gets boos from the crowd. Pacman was dominating Cotto, using ring generalship.

As Round 12 started, Pacman again hunts Cotto down. Cotto throws a left hook but Pacman catches Cotto with 1-2. Pacman was relentless, 1-2, 1-2! Referee Kenny Bayles steps in, waves off the fight just seconds over 2 minutes in Round 12!

Pacman is now the new WBO welterweight champ!

Cotto embraced and congatulated Pacquiao while officials draped the WBO belt and the WBC diamond belt on Pacman.

SOURCE: ABS-CBN News Online, pacquiao-wins-7th-world-title

More TIME on Pacquiao: “His courage is such that his fights are half over before they begin”

From Zero to Hero

Few boxing fans were surprised when, less than a minute into the fight, Manny Pacquiao fell to the canvas. The 57-kg Filipino was matched up against Marco Antonio Barrera, widely considered one of the best boxers in the world. Pacquiao was tough he had brawled his way to two previous titles in two different weight classes but he was relatively inexperienced. A low-profile Filipino known in the U.S. by the decidedly unthreatening nickname “Pac-Man,” he was fighting the biggest bout of his career in front of more than 10,000 hostile spectators in San Antonio, Texas. The HBO TV announcers at the Nov. 15 fight couldn’t even pronounce his name correctly. Recah Trinidad, a boxing writer for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, recalls the dismay he felt as Pacquiao took a glancing right cross from Barrera and stumbled to the canvas. “I was just praying he would finish the bout with respect,” says Trinidad. “When he went down, I thought, ‘Ah, my prayers were not heard.'”

Pacquiao didn’t need prayers. He sprang off the canvas with a playful bounce and waved his opponent forward: bring it on! After that, the fists flew one way. In the third round, Pacquiao landed a concussive left that scrambled Barrera’s motor control; the favorite sat down in the ring like a stunned child, feeling a shock that would soon spread to the rest of the boxing world. By the end of the 11th round, a humbled Barrera had been bludgeoned into submission, with Pacquiao landing 150 more power punches than the Mexican. The referee stopped the fight, and Pacquiao raised his arms, crying and smiling as his cornermen draped the Philippine flag around the shoulders of the featherweight dragon slayer. “At least they’re finally beginning to pronounce his name right,” says Rod Nazario, Pacquiao’s longtime business manager.

Since that triumphant night, Pacquiao (it’s pronounced correctly as Pak-yao) has been hailed as one of the world’s best fighters; Ring magazine recently named him the “people’s champion” in the featherweight class. At 25, he’s now a main-event attraction who can negotiate seven-figure-per-fight deals with HBO. Back home in the Philippines, he’s revered as a real-life Rocky who slugged his way out of the country’s pervasive poverty and proved that Filipinos can compete and win on the global stage. When he returned to Manila after his victory in Texas, hundreds of thousands turned out to cheer his motorcade. Since then, he’s been busy shooting commercials and a movie, collecting awards, attending parties in his honor and, most recently, campaigning for his friend President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in the nation’s upcoming election. If Arroyo had Pacquiao’s popularity, she’d be re-elected in a landslide. “There are two things this country is hungry for: a fighter and a hero,” says Ronnie Nathanielsz, a veteran journalist and member of Pacquiao’s inner circle. “In Manny we have both, in a time when we have been down.”

The national hero, an elementary school dropout who started out by selling doughnuts, views his sudden fame with relative nonchalance. “People look at me the same way,” he says. “There’s a little difference, but it shouldn’t matter.” He insists he’s still the same Manny who used to box in Manila for peanuts, even if his next fight is likely to earn him at least $1 million. Still, it’s hard to avoid noticing the signs of Pacquiao’s newfound wealth. Today, hanging out in his rented apartment in the capital, Pac-Man is wearing two fat gold watches, one of which, he notes proudly, cost some $15,000. He owns two houses: one in his hometown of General Santos City, the other in Davao. He owns a Honda SUV, a Ford Expedition and a Toyota Tamaraw. And he has a big and expensive collection of admirers. Filipinos tend to have unusually large extended families, but Pacquiao’s posse has expanded of late, seemingly at the same rate as his fight purses, which hit $700,000 for the battle with Barrera. Members circle the fighter like planets around the sun, cooking his dinner, clearing away his plate, carrying his pool cue when he goes out for the marathon billiards matches that occupy many of his evenings. Manager Nazario remembers calling Pacquiao the morning after a party in his honor, not long after the fighter returned from the U.S. “He said, ‘I thought I had 30 relatives,'” Nazario recalls, “‘but there were actually 100 … 150 … 200 … and they all say they are my relatives!'”

Pacquiao, who is married and has two young sons, likes his extra-extended family, even if they do tax his budget. “All those who are around me are the bridge to my success, so they are all important,” he says. He helps pay for the education of some of his younger relatives. He even gave a few hundred dollars to Rolando Navarrete, a once famous boxing champion from his hometown who squandered his talent and ended up in jail for a few years on a rape charge. Sitting in the kitchen of his apartment surrounded by a coterie of relatives, Pacquiao seems happy and at ease, joking with his brother-in-law and teasing another family member for losing a bet on the horse race they’ve been watching on TV. His advisers are worried that Pacquiao’s generosity could be his undoing, but the boxer says it’s just part of being a champion. “I don’t mind having these relatives. I’ll give them a little, since they all prayed for my victory.”

If Pacquiao wants to see how far those prayers have taken him, all he has to do is visit his $54,000 home in General Santos City, a palace, by local standards, located in the same neighborhood as the dirt-floor shanty where he spent part of his childhood. Local officials advertise the town as the most competitive middle-sized city in the Philippines. But even though carefully qualified, the slogan seems optimistic at best. GenSan is situated on the southern tip of the lawless province of Mindanao, which is wracked by separatist fighting and kidnapping. Many of the residents are poor tuna fishermen, yet growing up, Pacquiao and his family were so impoverished that their neighbors pitied them. “He was a bright boy but didn’t finish school because of poverty,” says Jognard Verzoza, who went to elementary school with Pacquiao. “You could tell how poor his family was by his clothes.”

One product that GenSan churns out in spades is fearless fighters. As in the barrios of east Los Angeles or the slums of Mexico City, professional boxing offers one of the few available routes out of the hopelessness of Mindanao. For Pacquiao, boxing may have been the only way. His parents separated when he was young, and his mother, Dionisia Pacquiao, raised her six children on her paltry income from a series of odd jobs. Manny helped out by selling bread and taking in laundry, but in his spare time he would do gofer work at the local gym or pound cardboard boxes filled with clothes, his first makeshift punching bag. Wiry, tanned and talkative, 54-year-old Dionisia nowadays lives next door to Pacquiao’s new house, in a smaller place her son bought her. She leaves little doubt who her favorite child is: “He is like a Xerox copy of me,” she says. The resemblance is as much mental as physical. “If I had been a man, I would have been a millionaire because I would have been a champion boxer,” she adds.

Pacquiao is a source of local pride, but the attention he receives is sometimes dangerous. Dionisia has been robbed, and there have been threats made against his children; the tall walls, the guard tower and the bodyguard manning his house are clearly meant to discourage casual visitors. The boy who had nothing has much to lose now. Under orders from Pacquiao, his sons, toddlers Emmanuel Jr. and Michael, are kept in an air-conditioned back room all day, out of reach of kidnappers. Pacquiao has said he’ll forbid his sons to enter the ring, but Dionisia understands how powerless parental desires can be. “If your children want to do something, you cannot dictate to them,” she says, smiling as she watches her grandsons. “After all, I wanted Manny to be a priest.”

Instead, Pacquiao fled GenSan at age 14 by stowing away on a ship bound for Manila. He had no friends, no money and one goal: “I wanted to be a world champion,” Pacquiao recalls. Supporting himself as a construction worker, he gained local renown quickly on the amateur and pro-boxing circuit as a powerful puncher with little discipline and less fear. “There was hardly any science in his fighting,” says Rudy Salud, a Manila-based boxing manager and former secretary-general of the World Boxing Council (WBC). “He fought like a mad dog. He was rather wild out of the ring, too.” Pacquiao admits he drank and gambled in those days after he temporarily abandoned the devout Catholic faith he was raised in. “I lost that for a while when I came to Manila,” Pacquiao says. “But God was always looking out for me.”

It certainly seemed that way. In 1998, when he was just 19, Pacquiao won a world flyweight title. Two years later, he added a world superbantamweight title. But it wasn’t until manager Nazario hooked him up with Freddie Roach, a respected boxing trainer in Los Angeles, that Pacquiao began to reach his potential. “I could tell there was something inside him, but he had not yet discovered it because no one was teaching him,” Nazario recalls. “That’s why I decided to bring him to the States.” Roach took Pacquiao’s natural aggressiveness and fearlessness and combined them with defense and discipline. Over the next two years, Pacquiao went undefeated, earning decisive victories in each of his fights before the Barrera bout, aside from one contested draw. Against Barrera, Roach came up with the plan for beating the favorite: stay close, give no quarter, and hammer him with body shots.

As brilliant as Pacquiao’s win over Barrera was, it’s still just one night. To achieve lasting greatness, he’ll have to repeat moments like that again and again. He could start on May 8, when he goes up against International Boxing Federation and WBC featherweight champion Juan Manuel Marquez, a tough, powerful counterpuncher. Though ranked as boxing’s top featherweight, Pacquiao holds no title belts in the division, beating Marquez would make him the official champ and quiet any doubters who feel the Barrera fight was a one-off. Some question Pacquiao’s readiness, however, whereas Marquez has apparently been in serious training for months. At a March 25 press conference in L.A., Marquez left no doubt about his focus, declaring, “Only in death will I relinquish my belts.” Meanwhile, Pacquiao admitted in February that he has barely laced a glove since his last bout, diverted by the allure of the pool hall and the many other distractions of sudden celebrity. He was booked to fight in a two-round exhibition in Manila in February but begged off, claiming he had left his sparring gear in GenSan. “Manny has to be warned repeatedly about the dangers of overconfidence,” says Salud.

The situation bears a worrisome resemblance to Pacquiao’s first loss, back in 1995. He was expected to cruise over a local fighter named Rustico Torrecampo and slacked off in his training, only to be floored by a third-round punch that left him unconscious, the one time in his career he has been knocked out. “I was a little overconfident,” Pacquiao admits. “I was a little careless.”

If Pacquiao is outworked in his next fight, it will be a first. Whatever their opinion of his skills as a sweet scientist, boxing observers agree that he is, when not distracted, one of the most disciplined competitors in the sport. “When I am in training, all [other activities] will stop,” Pacquiao vows. “It’s like a tunnel when I’m training for a fight.” Salud says Pacquiao has the chance to be the greatest boxer in Philippine history, and others see in the young fighter a new confidence and maturity since the victory over Barrera. “There’s been a huge change in his personality,” says journalist Trinidad. “He now has serenity. Before, it was very hard to talk to him. He was not that secure. Now he seems so serene. It’s the gift of a real champion.”

Or is it? In casual conversation, Pacquiao speaks as much about his life after boxing, his plans to become a professional pool player or dabble in politics, as he does about his next bout. His serenity might be the sign of a fighter who has nothing left to prove, and who is therefore vulnerable in the ring. Does he still have the hunger, the pride, to compete? Trinidad thinks so: “He is not proud of his skills, but he is proud of his heart.” Even though Pacquiao is no longer the underdog, says Salud, he will still fight like one: “His courage is such that his fights are half over before they begin. His courage comes from poverty, from having lived that way.” Pacquiao agrees. Without his background on the mean streets of Mindanao, he says, “I never would have been a champion.”

SOURCE: TIME Magazine Online, April 12, 2004.

TIME says Pacquiao is the Philippines’ “great 21st century hero”

Boxing Champ Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao celebrates with team members after knocking out Ricky Hatton to win their Welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 2, 2009 in Las Vegas.
Manny Pacquiao celebrates with team members after knocking out Ricky Hatton to win their Welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 2, 2009 in Las Vegas. MARK RALSTON / AFP / Getty

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Millions danced in the streets and a national holiday was announced by Philippines President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to mark the latest victory of the island nation’s great 21st century hero: boxing great Manny Pacquiao. The fighter also known as “Pac-Man” won in a knockout, beating British boxer Ricky “the Hitman” Hatton on May 2 and becoming the International Boxing Organization and Ring Magazine World Light Welterweight champion. It was a world record-tying sixth division title and fourth consecutive win in a different weight class. All that plus a 49-3-2 record are why some may think of him as the best fighter of a generation.

The man who used to sell donuts and ice water on the streets transformed his humble beginnings into world stardom, and near legendary status in his home country. While carrying the weight of the Philippines on his shoulders in the boxing ring, Pacquiao has also made his marks in politics, business and acting. He can even carry a tune: check out his singing on YouTube. You may even come across one of his three hit singles. Indeed, Pacquiao’s worst defeat came outside of the ring, when he lost his bid for a Philippines congressional seat in 2007. Regardless, his popularity has continued to soar. Pacquiao plans to retire from boxing this year and intends to make a congressional run again in 2010. (See TIME’s 100 most influential people.)

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Fast Facts:

• 30 years old, he was born Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao on December 17, 1978 in Kibawe, a municipality in the Northern Mindanao region of the Philippines. Currently resides in General Santos City with his wife, Jinkee, in a regal mansion protected 24/7 by armed security guards. They have four children, including a daughter, Queenie, who has dual nationality after being born in the United States. Under Philippines law, the army will come to Pacquiao’s aid if his family is in danger.

• Nicknames include Pac-Man, The Mexi-cutioner, The People’s Champion and National Fist.

• Is the former World Boxing Foundation lightweight world champion, super featherweight champion and flyweight world champion, as well as the International Boxing Federation super bantamweight world champion. Has held the Ring Magazine titles for featherweight, super featherweight and light welterweight divisions. Also rated #1 pound-for-pound boxer in the world by Ring Magazine.

• Started his boxing career at age 16, weighing just 106 lb. His early fights took place in small, local venues of the Philippines. He was inspired to pursue his boxing career following the death of close friend Mark Penaflorida in 1994. His big break came June 23, 2001, when he stepped into the ring as a late replacement, won by a technical knockout and became the IBF Super Batamweight Champion.

• The House of Representatives of the Philippines issued a resolution on Aug. 7, 2008 recognizing Pacquiao for his achievements and inspiration to the Filipino people.

• While he didn’t fight in the 2008 Summer Olympics, Pacquiao was the flag-bearer for the Philippines national team at the opening ceremonies in Beijing — the first Filipino non-Olympian to do so.

• In his failed 2007 bid to win a Philippines Congressional seat, he lost to incumbent Rep. Darlene Antonino-Custodio by nearly 37,000 votes. His decision to run had turned off many Filipinos, with analysts predicting politics could destroy his boxing career. His fans celebrated the loss, calling it a victory for boxing. Pacquiao says he will retire from boxing in 2009 and run in the Philippine general election of 2010 with his eye on a different congressional seat.

• A Filipino film based on his life, Pacquiao: The Movie, was released in 2006, and did very poorly at the box office. Pacquiao himself is a popular presence on Philippines television and recently signed up with the GMA broadcast network to appear in the boxing-themed drama series Totoy Bato. Pacquiao is also rumored to be appearing alongside Sylvester Stallone on the big screen in a debut U.S. movie sometime in the future; the two met last January in Los Angeles.

• Pacquiao can be found endorsing detergents, medicines, food, clothes and telecommunications across the Philippines. He also is featured in the Fight Night series of boxing video games.

• He’s the first athlete to appear on a Philippines postage stamp.

Quotes By:

“I know everyone in the Philippines is happy.”
— Following his victory over Mexican boxer Erik Morales in the super featherweight division (BBC, Jan. 22, 2006)

“If that happens, I would be happy; It would be like a victory for me.”
— Urging Rep. Custodio and other congressional candidates to make good their promise to help the poor following his 2007 election defeat (ESPN.com, May 20, 2007)

“I was just doing my job in the ring and doing my best to make people happy. Nothing personal — I am just doing my job.”
— Following his recent win against Hatton (Miami Herald, May 4, 2009)

Quotes About:

“This loss may be devastating for Manny, but the whole boxing world is rejoicing. This ensures that there will be a true boxing superstar to look up to in the next three years at least. To the electorate of the 1st district of South Cotabato… thank you!”
— Anonymous fan commenting on Pacquiao’s Website, following his election loss (Philippines Daily Inquirer, May 17, 2007)

“Mann is a monster. He is the best fighter ever. There is no surprise here.”
— Pacqquiao’s chief trainer Freddie Roach, following the win over Hatton (Philippines Daily Inquirer, May 4, 2009)

“I have something special in history here, an athlete who is improving every fight. He’s like a grand painting.”
— Pacquaio promoter Bob Arum following the fight with Hatton (Los Angeles Times, May 4, 2009)

“I think he’s really now a serious contender. The dedication he has given to boxing, he should show the same dedication to politics. He should make sure he plays a clean game. There are dirty tricks in boxing, but there are a lot more in politics. If he does his homework, I think he can be a very effective politician.”
— Bayan Muna, Philippines Rep. Teodoro Casino on Pacquiao’s 2010 run for Congress (cbnNews.com May 4, 2009)

“The people have rallied behind him and feel like they’re a part of him, because they can see his talent, his dedication, his grace and his class. The grip he holds over the Philippines is similar to Nelson Mandela’s influence in South Africa. I can surely see Manny becoming the Philippine President one day.”
— Lennox Lewis, former world heavyweight champion and HBO sports commentator in the 2009 TIME 100.

SOURCE: TIME Magazine Online, May 5, 2009.

Word is Hatton may retire after Pacquiao fight

Hatton’s dad says beaten son won’t rush to quit

LONDON (AP)—Ricky Hatton’s father says his son won’t hurry a decision on whether to retire after being knocked out by Manny Pacquiao in the second round of their 140-pound title fight.

After being knocked down twice in the opening round, the 30-year-old Briton was flattened in the second by Pacquiao’s left cross in Las Vegas on Saturday night for his second defeat in 47 fights.

After spending several minutes on his back in the ring, the two-time light-welterweight world champion had to be taken to a hospital for a precautionary brain scan, which the father said revealed no damage.

“He’s perfectly all right,” Ray Hatton told BBC Radio Five on Sunday. “They’ve checked him out. He’s had all the tests and everything. He’s not got a mark on him.”

However, the loss may leave a lasting mark on Ricky Hatton’s confidence, with his flimsy defense making him an easy target.

Ray Hatton said his son, whose other loss was a 10th-round knockout defeat to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in December 2007, would now have to consider whether to carry on.

“Obviously, we will support him in whatever he does and we’ll leave that with him,” Hatton said. “At this moment in time, he’s probably got a few mixed feelings about it. He’ll make that decision whichever way he wants to and the family will support him.”

Ray Hatton said his son did not need to continue boxing for the money, and that the fighter was convinced he had caught Pacquiao with some good punches.

“He just said, ‘The old heart ruled the head again, Dad; steaming in, got my warning signs in the first round. Set off OK at the start of the second round, caught Manny with a few shots. Really worried Manny a little bit. Manny was just throwing wild shots.’ He said, ‘Then the heart ruled the head again and I went steaming in.”’

Hatton’s trainer, Floyd Mayweather Sr., called on him to quit.

“I would suggest he retire. At the end of the day, it’s his decision,” Mayweather Sr. said. “He tried twice. He failed twice. He lost to my son and to lose to someone below that, it’s time to leave the ring. He made a good profit. Sometimes you have to go when your prime is still there.”

Carl Froch, who knocked out Jermain Taylor a week ago to defend his WBC super-middleweight title, also hopes Hatton retires.

“I have to say, if I was in his position after last night’s performance, I would definitely retire,” Froch said. “But I can’t speak for another fighter. He will decide what he’s going to do.”

SOURCE: Yahoo Sports via facebook, share.php?sid=94298408242&h=u5Elf&u=Ea_en