Monday, November 9, 2009
Cadillac Mescallade: Nike Hosts LA Send Off Celebration for Manny Pacquiao
Arguably the hottest boxer in the world, Manny Pacquiao hosted a send off this past weekend at the Montalban Theater in Los Angeles. The event was run by Nike who has taken over the Theater in recent weeks to help promote their new AW77 Pound for Pound campaign. Pacquiao is set to fight Miguel Cotto this Saturday in Las Vegas and looks to improve on his 49-3-2 record. Pacquiao has been on a tear as of late, having not lost a fight since 2005 - and that was in a decision to Erik Morales. Coming off a relatively easy win over Ricky Hatton in his last bout, some are already setting Manny's sights on a bigger fight post-Cotto, perhaps a Pacquiao-Mayweather battle.
Regardless, this day was all about Manny and his fans. Pacquiao is huge in the Filipino community and has a done a great deal for his homeland. Filipinos were out in forces to celebrate one of their heroes as fans were treated to Manny (a versatile actor, politician, and performer) singing a duet with Melissa Reyes. Five lucky fans of Manny were also able to work out for a day as Manny does and there was a taped sendoff for Manny featuring luminaries such as Mario Lopez (AC Slater) and Mark Wahlberg (say "hi" to your mother for me).
After all the hoopla, there was a fan Q and A with Manny along with his training team including the legendary Freddie Roach, Buboy Fernandez, and Alex Ariza. Most every question was directed at Manny. When asked about what if feels like to be number one? Manny simply replied "Number one is number one!" As for training for this fight, he's been working on it for the last two months in the lead up, and when pressed by the fans who he'd like to fight past or present, perhaps Mike Tyson, he said he'd fight Tyson...in the video game. That brought a good laugh from the crowd.
As the event wrapped to a close, fans headed out grabbing the remaining free candy and drinks that were supplied and lined up to get their shot at some Manny gear. If you see a few more "Pac Man Knows" Nike t-shirts around LA this week, you'll know where they might have come from. Overall this was a fun fan event for those that support Manny. For anyone that knows me, I have enough Nike gear to be on an unofficial endorsement deal so it's always great to check out the newest products.
Pacquiao takes on Cotto this Saturday evening at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in the welterweight division. Fight is available on HBO Pay-per-view.