Some things never change.
A presscon with Manny Pacquiao is a field day that has the same ingredients — whether here at Beverly Hills Hotel or any other venue.
A mild stampede of heaps of sports photographers, yelping and jostling in jubilation, which epitomizes the mix of the old and the new in sports media.
Veteran sportscasters, the wires (who are highest in the totem pole of boxing), handle the entourage and most importantly, ready-to-pounce, burly security, whose looks alone can quiet a hurricane.
You could feel the angst. Pacquiao and Bradley laughed together, but there were moments that Bradley’s tight grin looked suspiciously like that of an Olympic silver medalist or a first runner-up in a beauty contest.
When Pacquiao and Bradley rumbled first on June 9, 2011 at the MGM Grand Arena, Bradley’s hands were raised in a controversial split decision — ending Manny Pacquiao’s welterweight title, as well as his seven-year 15-bout winning streak.
In spite of both fighters claiming victory, neither were satisfied. Was it destiny playing a hand in that battle, as some fans claimed?
One thing sure will be a survival of the fittest (one that will determine the winner of this competitive super fight on April 12) if not, peace of mind, after the controversial fight.
Congressman Pacquiao is excited to go to Vegas and as usual, dedicating his fight to his countrymen all over the world and to bring glory to the Philippines by reclaiming his title back.
For Bradley, it is simply getting the credit unjustly denied.
We have covered all his fights since 2007 and learned to value his most mysterious quality – boxer’s instinct.
In this respect, Mr. Pacquiao is a gentleman boxer, who never uses profanity nor was he ever discourteous to any adversary, whether inside or outside the ring, or in the political arena.
Just look at him. The camera adores him. He is caught in one picture-perfect situation after another, on splashes of cool, knocked-out images, behind the scenes or in them — with his trainers and fans.
He doesn’t feel exhausted nor invaded, even as the cameras keep snapping.
Lensmen are more flamboyant (I’ve realized, this as the den mother of the LA media contingency) than the print people, who are more creative in their own ways.
He arrives without much fanfare, he is unassuming, excruciatingly polite and oh, so humble.
On our one-on-one, he said he’s not thinking about any records nor is he thinking about anything else but the welfare of the less unfortunate brothers (“ang mga naghihirap, halos hindi makabangon at kailangang tulungan.”)
One notes a shade of religious and Christian-like reverence.
Sir, you’ve been spreading the word of God, have discovered a better you, Congressman, how has all these changed you?
With the words of God, you discover the gifts and blessings within you and learn how to rise it to live better and help others better themselves, too.
Sir, in all those years in the boxing arena, including politics, what was the greatest lesson, so far you could share?
There is no limit to what you can accomplish through prayers, to be a better you…build your faith and you’ll find peace within you.
Through all these years in the boxing world there must have been regrets, a mistake and you could have done better or said better. When have you ever felt your best wasn’t enough?
I have always done my best in everything. I just put my complete faith in God, and then He shows me the way…how can I regret anything?
Sir, last question please, and you don’t have to answer because it concerns Mayweather’s latest tweet. He said the choice of his next opponent will be up to his fans — they will decide who he’ll fight next.
The champ’s face lighted up, and with a naughty twinkle he said: Regarding our bout, Mrs. De Leon, ang sasabihin lang nya ay OO o HINDI!
The rest of my colleagues exploded in uproar. That comic relief became the quote of the day.