By Lem Satterfield
Appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live have been a good omen for Manny Pacquiao.
The eight-division champion has been a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live three times, each, prior to his title fight triumphs over Miguel Cotto, Joshua Clottey, and, Antonio Margarito, respectively, by 12th-round knockout and consecutive unanimous decisions in November of 2009, March of 2010, and, November of 2010.
The appearances of the 32-year-old Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 KOs), for the most part, have been within a couple of weeks of those major clashes.
"I like Jimmy Kimmel," said Pacquiao, during a national conference call on Wednesday. "I'm having fun with him."
On Thursday, Pacquiao will be on the Jimmy Kimmel Live show for the fourth time, this, prior to the May 7 defense of his WBO welterweight belt opposite 39-year-old, five-time titlsit, Shane Mosley (46-6-1, 39 KOs) at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas.
As the competitive atmosphere heats up, it appears that the being on the show has become a mood-setter that allows him to defuse some pressure if not blow off some steam.
"Tomorrow it's going to be a very big day for Manny. There's going to be the release of his first U.S. single, the remake of 'Sometimes When We Touch,' the 1977 hit by Dan Hill. Manny has remade that with Dan Hill with the original producers," said publicist Fred Sternberg, one of Wednesday's national conference call moderators.
"And he will also be making his fourth, consecutive appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live tomorrow night at midnight," said Sternberg. "So there are a lot of exciting things going on. I think that it is a testament to Manny's popularity and obviously to the popularity and excitement being generated by the fight coming up."
Top Rank Promotions CEO, Bob Arum, likened Pacquiao's being on Jimmy Kimmel Live to those times when he promoted Oscar De La Hoya in the past on Jay Leno.
"This is not unusual. When Oscar De La Hoya was in his prime, and we were doing a lot of pay per view De La Hoya fights, if you remember, prior to those fights, he always appeared on the Jay Leno Show," said Arum.
"Now, Manny has forged a close bond with Jimmy Kimmel, who is a lot younger and more hip than Leno," said Arum. "And, Manny has been treated really well by Jimmy Kimmel, and there's a chemistry between them, and I think that Manny looks forward to being on the Jimmy Kimmel show prior to his fights."
On the first show, Kimmel introduced Pacquiao as boxing's best fighter, pound-for-pound. Pacquiao was greeted by chants of "Manny, Manny," from what appeared to be a large contingent of his Filipino countrymen.
Near the end of the segment, Pacquiao, wearing a dark, button-down shirt and blue jeans, literally closed the show, singing along with the band as the members of the crowd, collectively, waved their arms.
Pacquiao actually opened the initial broadcast, which took place on Nov. 3 just after Halloween, with a skit during which he feigned a training regimen that included smashing pumpkins, prompting Kimmel's remark, "I be willing to bet that he's the only future president of the Philippines whose punched a series of pumpkins on American television."
Playing on Pacquiao's nickname, Kimmel asked the multi-belt champion if he knew what "Pac-Man" is, to which he answered, "My dog," adding, to the audience's delight, "I have a dog named Pac-Man."
Kimmel also showed a trailer of the super hero movie, WaPakMan, which Pacquiao starred in.
On March 3, of 2010, Pacquiao discussed Clottey's relative obscurity and his relevance as an opponent compared to unbeaten Floyd Mayweather (41-0, 25 KOs).
Pacquiao, who also said that he had practiced to sing, which is his passion, to which Kimmel said, "I've got a great idea for you. You go on American Idol, right? And if they don't like you, beat the crap out of all of them. That would be the greatest thing ever."
Pacquiao close that show by singing, George Benson's "Nothing's Going To Change My Love For You."
Nearly two years to the day after his Jimmy Kimmel debut, Pacquiao was on the show for the third time, this, on Nov. 2.
"The crowd was very good. But surprisingly, this time around, it was a mostly white crowd. The last two times we were there, the crowd was predominantly Filipino," said Pacquiao's adviser, Michael Koncz. "But this time, it was totally the opposite. Nevertheless, they loved him just the same."
A newly-elected congressman at the time, Pacquiao unveiled the fact that one of his first acts in that capacity was to introduce a bill that would grant citizenship in the Philippines to his Five-Time Trainer of The Year, Freddie Roach.
Pacquiao also introduced a cologne, MP-7, named in honor of his seven belts in as many divisions at the time, and promised to come up with MP-8 after earning his eighth belt, which he did with his Nov. 13 triumph over Margarito.
Pacquiao closed out his effort with a duet of John Lennon's classic, "Imagine," alongside comic actor Will Ferrell.
"Originally, Manny said that he didn't feel like singing, and that it [Imagine] wasn't his first choice of a song," said Koncz. "But after meeting Will Ferrell, and rehearsing it, he felt that it would be a lot of fun, and it was enjoyable for him and it was a great evening."
Backstage, Pacquiao met Benji Madden and Joel Madden, members of the rock group, Good Charlotte, and was interviewed in his dressing room by reporter, Ines Sainz, who was hired by Top Rank Promotions.
"Our partner in this fight is CBS. Showtime and CBS. Jimmy Kimmel appears on ABC," said Arum. "So you understand that Manny continuing on the Jimmy Kimmel show rather than David Letterman, etc., shows the chemistry that he has with Jimmy Kimmel. Period. The end."