Pacquiao vs Clottey | Pacquiao vs Clottey News | Pacquiao vs Clottey Updates | Road to Dallas Pacquiao vs Clottey by HBO | Pacquiao vs Clottey Online Live Streaming

Mayweather vs Ortiz Online Live Streaming

Mayweather vs Ortiz Online Live Streaming, News and Updates, Mayweather Ortiz 24/7

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Manny Pacquiao: From The Gutters Of Manila To The Bright Lights Of Hollywood

Pacquiao vs Clottey Online Live Streaming
Pacquiao vs Clottey
by Kevin Riley

It was Dec. 4, 1998. Bangkok, Thailand was hosting the 13th Asian Games and the Philippine national basketball team was dancing on top of tables and exchanging high fives.

They were celebrating a championship victory, but it wasn't their own. The opening ceremonies were still two days away, yet there was already music in their ears.

A perfect left hand by Pacquiao, and Chatchai's down, he's out! He's not gonna get up, he's not gonna get up, he's not gonna get up, he's not gonna get up, he's not gonna get up, he's not gonna get up! IT'S OVER!

Manny Pacquiao is the WORLD CHAMPION, Manny Pacquiao is the WORLD CHAMPION!

From the gutters of Manila all the way to the bright lights of Hollywood, this was the fight, and call, that carried Manny Pacquiao out of abject poverty and onto the path of fame and fortune.

"I was so excited because very few people believed Manny would win," Ronnie Nathanielsz, who announced the fight with Quinito Henson, recently explained to me. "But I told my boss, Mr. Bobong Velez, let's [televise] this fight, he will win. And he did."

The fight was Pacquiao (23-1, 14 KO's) vs. WBC flyweight champion Chatchai Sasakul (33-1, 23 KO's) at Tonsuk College in Phutthamonthon, Thailand, just outside of Bangkok. It was the first of Pacquiao's seven world title bouts, and undoubtedly one of his most spectacular moments.

"[The bout] was outdoors and free as most fights are in Thailand," Nathanielsz said. "The Thais get into their boxing in a big way, with a drummer and guys bashing cymbals, [and] a noisy commentator in the crowd who only apparently sees punches thrown by the Thai fighters and screams his head off."

And "punches thrown by the Thai fighter" were actually a common occurrence on that December day. Heading into the eighth round, the hometown hero was ahead of Pacquiao on all three scorecards: 70-64, 69-64, 68-65.

"An overwhelming favorite and a tremendous fighter, Sasakul was giving Manny a boxing lesson for the first six rounds," Nathanielsz let on.

"But each time he got hit, Manny grit his teeth, banged his gloves together and came forward. It was only in the seventh round that Manny caught Sasakul with a vicious left to the mid-section which made Sasakul grunt and double up a little.

"I knew then it was going to be over."

Nathanielsz, who has been covering Pacquiao's illustrious career on television and through the press since 1995 was correct in his premonition that the fight would soon be over.

"Manny went after Sasakul in the next round and dropped him with another wicked left and the Thai fell flat on his back. He tried to get up, but [he fell] face down on the canvas to be counted out."

But when an eerie ambience followed the sudden stoppage, no amount of announcing or writing experience on the Pacquiao beat would have forbode its appearance.

"There was a deathly silence when Manny knocked out Sasakul," Nathanielsz continued.

"The only Filipinos there were [promoter] Rod Nazario (who recently passed away), his long-time partners, Moy Lainez and Lito Mondejar, trainer Rick Stehely, and (former) Mayor Ben Abalos of Mandaluyong City, who built a gymnasium where Manny fought and made a name for himself as a skinny 17-year-old kid.

"In fact, the Mayor was scared because we were so badly outnumbered by the Thai crowd and while we all jumped for joy and cheered, we soon had to moderate our joy so as not to incur the ire of the Thai fans.

"Stehely was so excited to jump into the ring, embrace Manny and carry him that someone knocked the jacket off one of his teeth and he could be seen on TV checking on whether his tooth was still there!!"

When all was said and done, everything was fine.

There was a new WBC flyweight champion crowned and by all accounts Stehely's tooth is still intact. Mr. Abalos to this day is still an avid fight fan and watches all the fights at his gym and Pacquiao's fights in a theater.

The basketball team went on to win the bronze medal by defeating Kazakhstan, 73-68 in the Asian Games, and the Philippines as a whole would garner 17 more medals with the valiant efforts of their motivated athletes.

None of them though, admittedly, could match the magical performance that Manny Pacquiao pulled out of his hat on that late afternoon on Dec. 4, 1998.

It was the first big step in an incredible career that will not soon be forgotten.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Fighter's Record

Manny Pacquiao Profiles, Statistics and Records
Joshua Clottey Profiles, Statistics and Records