Manny Pacquiao and the Fight of His Life

By on April 11, 2015  It’s all about being prepared and having no surprises.  Sometimes in life we have to wait for what we want the most (a chance at a championship, or a game vs a certain opponent), but it is our job to make sure we are prepared as soon an Mr. Opportunity comes knocking on our door.  Check out how one of the greats is getting ready for the event of a lifetime.

As Manny Pacquiao prepares for Floyd Mayweather, he knows his legacy is on the line:

Sidebar Inside Manny Pacquiao’s Fight Club There is the inner circle, there is the outer circle and there are the ever-widening concentric circles of hangers-on who drift about the periphery like a distant star hovering around the sun. There is the security detail and there are the pressmen and the managers and the canines and the trainers and the celebrities, because it would not be a Pacquiao camp without the celebrities. On this particular afternoon, a sedan lurches forward into one of the spots and discharges a gadfly of a fight promoter named Bob Arum, who casually introduces his driver as Bill Friedkin, the man who directed the most iconic celluloid car chase of the 20th century.

Every day, the people come streaming into Manny Pacquiao’s camp, angling their cars into the narrow parking spaces behind a pink-stucco strip mall near the corner of Vine Street and Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood, pounding with heavy fists on the metal door labeled with a sign that implores them not to knock.

This is how it goes in Manny’s little corner of Hollywood. This is pretty much how it has always been since he graduated from an unknown Filipino commodity who would strum Beatles songs on his guitar at a now-demolished roach motel next door called the Vagabond Inn, and became a celebrity himself by sheer virtue of his punching power. All this chaos is actually calming to the man at the center of it, even on the verge of the May 2 fight against Floyd Mayweather (live on pay-per-view beginning at 9 p.m. ET) that will define the tenor of his career, that will determine whether he is viewed as the greatest pound-for-pound fighter of his era or something slightly less than that.

Back home in the Philippines, Pacquiao is also a politician, as well as a hilariously amateurish pop singer and equally amateurish basketball player; back home, he is awe-inspiringly famous, the most famous and arguably most powerful man in his country since a dictator named Marcos ceded power (recently an American player was kicked out of a Filipino basketball league for criticizing Pacquiao’s skills). And so he has become accustomed to being surrounded by countrymen he barely knows, or that he’s never met. A few years ago, someone at his camp tells me, Pacquiao attended a “family reunion” with several thousand people; when this person asked Pacquiao how many of those people were actually related to him, he said, “Maybe 12 or so.” Read more…

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