The mood has been dulled just ahead of Manny Pacquiao's fight against Juan Manual Marquez, as Typhoon Bopha has just hit the Philippines and left hundreds of people dead and missing. People have been searching for their loved ones in banana leaves after flash floods and landslides have become a further worry.
There was a muddy wasteland and entire families have been washed away, a farming town of 45,000 had a scene of collapsed homes and coconut and banana trees were demolished by Bopha’s winds.
The coastal town Davao Oriental was first hit by Bopa from the Pacific Ocean and took victims of a 115 people, there were no roofs remaining in those three towns. Freddie Bendulo, the provincial officer said, “We had a problem where to take evacuees, all the evacuation centres have lost their roofs.”
World Champion boxer Manny Pacquiao who is of Philippine decent and a congressman from the Sarangari Province in his country spoke from Las Vegas where he’s undergoing his final preparations for this Saturday’s fight fourth fight against Juan Manuel Marquez at the MGM Grand Garden venue. He Said, “I am aware of what is going on, and my prayers are with the people of the Philippines, I have people who are monitoring the situation, and they can handle anything I am asked to do.
Pacquiao, who is running unopposed for re-election next May, said his province was not greatly affected, however he is more than willing to stretch out resources and his own hand. He said “I’ll go out and raise money for the people who are affected, I have helped my countrymen before, and I will do whatever they ask me to do to help.”
This is certainly a tragedy as also last December the country was hit, resulting in more than 1,200 deaths and leaving many homeless. U.S. officials passed on their condolences and have offered assistance.
News Source – Sky News and LA Journal
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8CountNews.com caught up with boxing promoter William Hunter who heads up “Rite Hook Promotions” and got his thoughts on his May 2nd fight card. Some say he’s crazy for doing such a thing being that May 2nd is the big Floyd Mayweather Jr Vs. Manny Pacquiao fight. Don’t be so quick to laugh though because Hunter has a plan, and that plan is working like a charm. For 35 bucks you can get into the fight and watch 8 live action packed fights, and then after the show that same ticket gets you access to watch the Mayweather/Pacquiao fight on the big screen. The card will take place in the beautiful Hard Rock Live, in Biloxi, MS. Here’s what Hunter had to say. 8CN - Tell the readers what you got coming up on May 2nd down in Biloxi, MS at the Hard Rock Casino. Who's your main event? WH - We have 8 live fights and then we will drop a massive screen and stream the Mayweather vs Pacquiao fight. l have light heavyweight "Hot Rod" who is certain to be a future world champion as the main event. He has been ranked as high as #8 in the WBA and has a good fan base and should draw fans from Tampa Fl with 2 other fighters Mike Bisset and Manny Woods on the card are also from Tampa Fl. On our shows we try to find that 1 guy that's a few fights away from the "prime time" as main event. We have hosted Wille Monroe Jr. and Mike Seals on past events. So I thought Hot Rod was a great fit for this show. 8CN - This is a famous date. Of course it's the night of Floyd Mayweather Vs, Manny Pacquiao. Any concerns with ticket sales or attendance? WH - Honestly I think me and my associate were probably the only people in the sport of Boxing that didn't want Mayweather and Pacquiao to fight on May 2nd. I negotiated a deal with the Hard Rock Biloxi months before. Since that was the first date available I took it on. There was talk of the the Canelo Alvarez fight which I did not think would effect my local market very much. When they announced the Mayweather vs Pacquiao fight I knew I had to do something. I was in too deep to turn back with over 10 contracts signed. I decided to incorporate the PPV event with the 8 live boxing matches and tickets sales are doing great. 8CN - What's your vision for the rest of 2015 and 16. Do you plan on putting on more boxing shows in Mississippi and other states? WH - We plan on doing at least 3 more events in Mississippi before the end of the year, and have 2 events we are working on for 2016 already. We also have a few options on the table and if they play out we will begin to promote shows in 4 other states throughout the United States. 8CN - What's the most challenging aspect of boxing promotions? WH - Honestly the most challenging aspect for me is time. I only do boxing promotions as a hobby. I couldn't image what Rite Hook Promotions would be capable of if I had the resources to focus on it as a full time profession. 8CN - What's your history in boxing? WH - I boxed amateur in the late 1980's. I was a really small kid and it was hard to get matched so I moved to other sports. I got back into the sport a few years ago to help out a friend and here we are today. 8CN - How much are the tickets for your May 2nd card? WH - Tickets start at $35.00 and go up to $105.00. There are also a few VIP tables left for $1,000. 8CN - How have ticket sales done so far? WH - We have less than a week left and I think we are on pace to sell out. Even the larger promoters that bring TV have problems selling out in this market. We have a great street team and we have a very aggressive fight week advertising campaign that launched today. We do hundreds of TV and radio spots in all the major markets along the Gulf Coast including New Orleans. 8CN - Who do you think will win between Manny and Floyd? WH - I have learned my lesson. Don't bet on the Superbowl and don't bet against Floyd Mayweather. I have to go with Mayweather UD12, Especially with Bayless as referee.
It is one of the pressing questions regarding the Premier Boxing Champions fights this past weekend. Why hasn’t Danny Garcia looked good since he beat Lucas Matthysse? Many, including myself, thought Matthysse held the firepower not only to out punch Garcia, but to even knock him out. Before their respective fight, Garcia had fought Zab Judah in April 2013 and for the first time looked vulnerable post his big knockouts of Amir Khan and Erik Morales. Garcia governed the early latter, but Judah was able to bully Garcia in the later rounds and open a few wounds. After the final bell, Garcia was declared as the winner. Lucas Matthysse on the other hand, obliterated Lamont Peterson in three, only a few weeks later. Garcia, who was present at the fight was shown in the crowd, looking rather dead-eyed and fueling speculations that he feared a matchup with Matthysse and a fight between the two was unlikely to happen. But Danny proved us all wrong, he fought Matthysse that September and won convincingly and even knocked down the hard-hitting Argentine. However, since then, Danny has looked a tad mediocre in two of his last three fights. Considering how these fights have went, it should be agreed upon that ‘Swift’ has gotten maybe a little too ‘hook happy’ in there, as his left hook was the formula for the biggest wins of his career. He does very little else, but stand flat-footed, use little head movement, wait to throw one of his signature ‘no-look hooks’ and hope to get lucky. He fought Mauricio Herrera in a coming out party to an all Puerto-Rican crowd but wasn’t able to deal with the awkward and crafty style of ‘El Maestro’ for a greater part of the fight. Garcia spent most of his rounds sporadically landing or swinging at air versus Herrera, who even with little power, was successful in leaving Garcia bloodied in the end. Surprisingly, Danny Garcia was awarded the victory. The Rod Salka fight that followed isn’t noteworthy enough to talk about, because it shouldn’t of even happened in the first place. A total mismatch that many have found hard to even give any credit for. Moving on, here we are and the Lamont Peterson fight has just happened. Peterson made the same mistake as Zab Judah, of not being active enough in the early rounds, but stayed mobile and disallowed Garcia the ability to ever really land any decent punches on him. He also further exposed the flaws of his opponent, one being his inability to cut off the ring against anyone who won’t just stand in the pocket and allow him to tee off. Needless to say, the late rounds came and suddenly Peterson was turning the heat on and bossing Garcia around the ring, once again leaving his face a bruised mess. But someway, somehow, despite the obviousness that he simply chased and was ineffective for a huge percentage of the fight, Garcia’s hand was raised in the end. Its possible that Garcia has gotten very reliant on his devastating hooks to pull him through, but it has become apparent that his recent victories leave many questions unanswered as well. And considering he doesn’t seem to be a fan of giving rematches, I doubt we’ll ever get any of those answers. Danny has won too many of his recent fights, by the skin of his teeth for him, his fans, or anyone else really, to be confident that that ‘0’ on his record will stay for much longer. A move up to welterweight may not be the solution either, bearing in mind that the opponents only get bigger, stronger and considering how Danny has struggled to beat relatively ‘B’ fighters a class lower, there’s a question mark attached to a shift up in weight. But hey, Garcia has defied the odds before, who says he can’t again? All that can be said is that if things don’t change, ‘Swift’ will meet his maker in the ring at some point very soon.
On May 2nd, 2015, yes you heard it right, May 2nd, the same night as the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao mega fight; Rite Hook Promotions and The Hard Rock Casino Biloxi are bringing boxing back to the Gulf Coast with Biloxi "Sweet Science 3” live boxing and Mayweather vs. Pacquiao live streaming on a 35ft screen. Together we have an event that is unlike most live boxing events. Rite Hook Promotions in conjunction Phil Juliano, his experience in the casino industry along with his vision to bring boxing back to Biloxi made this event possible. Combined with Robyn Smith, Director of Entertainment at the Hard Rock Biloxi, this event will solidify the Hard Rock as a new player in live boxing on the national level. We will kick-off this Spring 2015 series with a hard-hitting main event featuring Tampa's undefeated Radivoje "Hot Rod" Kalajdzic, 17(11)-0-0 currently ranked in the Top 40 in the world. He is a Serbian, undefeated prospect that should start to step into the "prime time" boxing scene very soon. Rite Hook has hosted fighters such as Willie "El Mongoose" Monroe who will fight GGG as the main event May 16th. Hot Rod is on a similar path to becoming a world champion. He is a slick athletic fighter with KO power and is always enjoyable to watch. In our co-main event Mike "Concrete" Bissett, a Biloxi native who fights out of Tampa, will be in action. He is a durable cruiserweight that is not scared to fight anyone. Even with a record of 8(6)-7(4)-0 which may be deceiving due to the level of competition he has face in his professional career. He will be matched against fellow boxer-puncher James "King James" Johnson of Louisiana. Johnson is a veteran fighter with 73 fights under his belt. There are 4 welterweight prospects that will complete this card. Manny Woods Jr. (12)4-3(0)-0 also a resident of Tampa is ready to step back in the ring in preparation to advance in rankings in one of the most talent filled divisions in the sport. Bobby Bryant 15(9)-0-0 from Memphis is scheduled to make his return to the ring after a 3 year layoff. Eric "Babyface" Johnson 9(4)-0-0 from the Roy Jones Jr. camp is ready to display his Roy-like skills which always seem to be a problem for his opponents. Local professional Tom "Hitman" Howard 8(4)-2(0)-0 will also be in the action. Hard-hitting heavyweight and dual sport professional prospect Tony Johnson Jr. 1(1)-0-0 will be in the ring and ready to make his opponents night a short one. Johnson is fighting live on Spike TV April 10th against Alexander Volkov who is currently ranked as high as #3 in some professional MMA rankings. He will be back in the boxing ring May 2nd as he wants to fast track the boxing rankings also. He has showed promise in training camps working with world champions in sparring. With his confidence at an all time high, Johnson will be a force to reckon with in the world of boxing for years to come. So remember the name Tony Johnson Jr. Cameron Springer 5(2)-0-1 from Atlanta will be ready to put it all on the line. He is a hungry young fighter with an excellent amateur pedigree. This fight is brought to you by Rite Hook Promotions in conjunction with Kevin Dever of Reved Entertainment, New York and Ivan Echevarria, director of marketing and owner of Pier6 Promotions, Tampa. Tickets to the live fights including the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao stream, priced at $35, $50, $65, $90 and $125, are on sale now at www.ticketmaster.com, the Hard Rock Box Office, or by calling (228)-217-5555. For more information, visit www.ritehookpromotions.com, www.hardrockbiloxi.com, or follow us on Twitter at @Ritehookpromo.