By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman has praised “Fighter of the Decade” Manny Pacquiao who defends his WBO welterweight title against undefeated Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday.
Mayor Goodman told ABS-CBN’s Las Vegas correspondent Bev Llorente that she is happy to see Pacquiao fight in Las Vegas because his fights bring in millions of dollars to the city.
The Mayor told Llorente "For what he does for all the people in the community, he is a great and wonderful human being and we are just delighted that he is coming here to fight and we welcome him back often"
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum who stages most of Pacquiao’s fights in Las Vegas with the exception of the fights against Joshua Clottey and Antonio Margarito which were held at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Texas, said that whenever Pacquiao fights “ people come into town by the thousands and spend a lot of money. It's great for the town, it's a great place for Manny's fights to be held."
In her exclusive report over ABS-CBN, Llorente noted that for over a decade, Vegas played host to Pacquiao's fights. Pacquiao's name has been engraved in the boxing capital as it does not only generate millions of dollars in revenue to Sin City, but also pride for Filipinos worldwide
Three famous heavyweights have backed Pacquiao to beat Bradley even as they praised him for the type of person he is.
Former world heavyweight champion Leon Spinks who had a stunning victory over Muhammad Ali in 1978 said Pacquiao is his favorite boxer, adding “I like him very much.”
Earnie Shavers who was listed at No. 10 in Ring Magazine’s ranking of the 100 greatest punchers of all-time and who Ali and Larry Holmes among others credited as being the hardest puncher they ever faced said “Manny Pacquiao is one heck of a fighter. He reminds me of myself. He doesn’t give up.”
Chuck Wepner, a tough journeyman who went 15 rounds against Ali in a 1975 world title fight and who has claimed he was the inspiration for the movie Rocky was profuse in his praise of Pacquiao.
Wepner told Llorente, “Manny Pacquiao is like a God in the Philippines as he should be. He is probably the greatest fighter in the world pound for pound and I’d love to see him and Floyd Mayweather Jr get it on. It will be a great fight and will make a lot of money.”