By Perry Diaz
When I found out that Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao decided to cut short his stay in Los Angeles after his stunning loss to Tim Bradley, I flew to L.A. to try catching Pacman before he left for the Philippines. I was able to get Pacman’s Philippine Air Lines flight so I literally camped out at the LAX to make sure that I would catch him as soon as he arrived at the airport.
My long wait paid off. You can’t miss Pacman when he’s at the airport. There are hundred of his fans – mostly young women -- shouting “Manny, Manny, Manny…” which sounded more like “Money, Money, Money…” Oh, well, what’s the difference between Manny and Money? Well, Manny is Manny and Money – the one that people would like to have -- looks like, which makes one to conclude that beauty is really in the eyes of the beholden. Yep, it's the color of what Manny has; that is, tons of green papers with the image of good ol’ Benjie.
I must be day-dreaming coz no sooner did I come to my senses, the Pacman was right in front of me. “Hoy, don’t I know you from somewhere?” Pacman asked. I looked behind me thinking that he was talking to somebody at my back. “No, you, you… Hoy, it’s you I am taking to,” he said. “Oh, me?” I asked. “Yes, ikaw, ikaw!” “Ako?” “Oo, you! We’ve met before, right? And your name is….” Pacman scratched his nose, “Umm…”
Perry: My name is Perry. And, yes, we’ve met before… several times.
Pacman: Ya, ya, I remember you now! Perry…. Hmm…. You’re the one who pissed me, di ba?
Perry: You have a good memory, Pacman. Hehehe… I thought with all those punches you got on your head, you’d be… well, ahh… umm…
Pacman: Ahh… umm… what?
Perry: I mean you would have forgotten me. It’s been a while back.
Pacman: How can I forget you? You really pissed me last time you interviewed me! Now, why are you here?
Perry: I’m here to see a friend off to Pinas. But he’s not here yet.
Pacman: Well, good to see you again. See you around, Perry.
Perry: Wait! Can I just ask you a few questions?
Pacman: Well, I have 10 minutes of spare time. Shoot!
Perry: That’s generous of you. What do you think was the reason you lost considering that all the stats showed you’re the winner?
Pacman: Well, it’s simple. One judge voted for me and the other two voted for Bradley.
Perry: Ahh… I guess you’re right.
Pacman: Next question.
Perry: Why do you think the two judges voted for Bradley and not for you?
Pacman: That’s easy. You see, I’m a very observant person. In my profession, my eyes have to be fast and furious. I have observed that those two judges blinked a lot.
Perry: What has that to do with their decision to vote for Bradley?
Pacman: You see, when a judge blinks a lot, he cannot count all the punches thrown.
Perry: So, you don’t think you were cheated?
Pacman: Cheated? How could they have cheated me? Win or lose, I still got $20 million and Bradley only got $5 million. And besides we’ll have a rematch, which means another $20 million for me… win or lose!
Perry: Hey, more power to you! Hope you’ll knock him out. On another subject matter, I heard that you’re now a born-again Christian? Is that true?
Pacman: I found a new faith in God. I’ve been reading the Bible for the past six months. I prayed five times a day and yet I felt that I was still a sinner. The Bible taught me that praying was not enough.
Perry: So what did you do in addition to praying five times a day?
Pacman: Well, the day after my loss to brother Bradley, I preached before more than a thousand worshipers at the Riviera Convention Center in Las Vegas. I urged my supporters to accept my loss with all their heart and that it was God’s will.
Perry: Wow! No kidding! A thousand worshipers? Are you founding your own religion?
Pacman: God hasn’t talked to me for a while so I decided to go to Israel and visit all the holy sites. I’m going to seek God’s guidance. Whatever he tells me to do, I’ll follow. If he wants me to build a Church, I’ll do it and build the largest Church ever built for God.
Perry: Wowowee! Does that mean you’re now going to hang your gloves?
Pacman: Eventually, yes. But I am going to fight Bradley in a rematch and then Floyd Mayweather next, which I hope would be my last.
Perry: That’s an ambitious plan, Pacman.
Pacman: Do you doubt that I can do it?
Perry: Well, I’ve been hearing from a lot of people who are saying that you don’t have a power punch anymore. As a matter of fact, you haven’t knocked out any of your last four opponents.
Pacman: So, what are you pointing at?
Perry: Pointing at? Oh, do you mean to say, what is my point?
Pacman: Same thing, same thing.
Perry: Well, don’t you think it’s time to call it quits?
Pacman: Quit? Look! I’m not a quitter, okay? Like Manuel Uy always say, “A winner never quits and a quitter never wins.”
Perry: Well, I haven’t seen you knock out any of your last four opponents, Manny.
Pacman: You’re rubbing it in, amigo! Do you want me to show you that I still have a knock out punch?
Perry: Well, do you think you can knock Bradley out in your rematch?
Pacman: I’ll show you that I still have a KO punch right now!
I didn’t see it coming! I blinked and next thing I knew I was down on the floor. Then I heard the bell ring. Where did it come from? I looked around. It was dark in the room. Then I saw the alarm clock on the nightstand where the ringing came from.
It was then that I realized that I fell from my bed. Gee, it was another bad dream… a nightmare.