Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Two Sides for Manny Pacquiao

An apology and good news for Manny Pacquiao:

If you ask Brian Viloria what he’s up to, you’d probably get a reply from Mark Twain.

Yes, reports that Viloria has retired were grossly exaggerated.

In fact, Viloria, who had a brief reign as world light flyweight king, is scheduled to spar with the highly rated Rodel Mayol at the Pound-for-Pound gym in the La Brea area here Monday.

This was confirmed by trainer Nonoy Neri, who effectively sidelines as Team Pacquiao nutritionist, to the Philippine Daily Inquirer the other day after overseeing Mayol through 29 rounds of tough boxing drills at the Wild Card gym.

Neri, with a sharp eye for talent, should be able to determine where the young Viloria is really headed: Back for good into the boxing arena or inside the broadcast booth.

* * *

Fans back home may no longer miss Viloria, but we’ll also try to see and report if he still packs the old wallop.

Of course, the brighter news at Wild Card is the one that says Manny Pacquiao is scheduled to resume working out Monday in preparation for his Oct. 6 rematch with Marco Antonio Barrera.

You all know that the Pacman got stalled in training by the flu virus.

There were initial reports he had been rushed to the hospital.

“Is it serious enough to postpone the fight?” widely read SunStar columnist Homer Sayson texted from his cozy Chicago base.

* * *

Not to worry.

Ronnie Nathanielsz reported from Cebu that Pacquiao felt strong and restless on Saturday that he offered to promptly resume training.

He was, naturally, held in check by his physicians.

Otherwise, Pacquiao would have exposed himself to a crippling relapse.

Another piece of good news is this one from Freddie Roach.

The two-time Trainer of the Year has assured that Pacquiao’s brief bout with the flu would not in any way set back their timetable.

Roach, in fact, tried to explain that the forced break could prove helpful because Pacquiao “had already gone ahead of schedule.”

Of course, this update on Pacquiao’s latest condition is not expected to sound too good and bright to the Barrera camp.

No need to elaborate.

* * *

OK, we’ve been asked to do only a short piece, so let me confess that this was originally meant as an apology to the Pacman.

Why? Well, Manny may have not noticed it. Or, if he did, he must’ve brushed it off.

In my previous column (on distress calls from Wild Card), trainer Neri described Pacquiao, his big boss, as both super “mabait” (kind) and super “maawain”.

Sorry, but these endearing terms could’ve also been misconstrued and helped make Pacquiao appear pitiful.

For the record, though, everybody knows Pacquiao to be very merciful (maawain).

But the boxing super hero has always tried to be in control.

He has remained the captain of his soul, so to say.

But enough of that. All’s well that ends well, as Mr. Twain, rather Shakespeare, put it.

At least the hazy adjectives failed to cast a spell on Pacquiao, who’s anything but soft despite the tyrannical flu virus.

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