Monday, November 8, 2010
"We haven't done many stories on boxers, but there's good reason to do one now. Next Saturday there will be a fight in Dallas featuring a 31-year-old Filipino who is quite simply, the best boxer in the world today. His name is Manny Pacquiao and he's generating excitement not seen in the ring since Mike Tyson, Sugar Ray Leonard or Muhammad Ali. Incredibly, Manny or 'Pac Man' as he's called, holds world titles in seven weight divisions; from 105 pounds to 148- that's never been done before."
Those were the opening statements of distinguished and multi-awarded journalist Bob Simon of CBS' 60 Minutes in his segment featuring Filipino boxing sensation Manny Pacquiao. The feature, which lasted about 13 minutes, came after CBS correspondent Steve Kroft's interview with US President Barrack Obama who addressed the first 2 years of his term as president. In boxing lingo, you can say Obama was on Pacquiao's "undercard".
The feature wasn't just a tribute to Pacquiao's impact in the sport and his nation, it was also a win for boxing as it brought back memories from its golden ages when mainstream media cared about the sport.
Here are some other noteworthy and quotable quotes from the 60 Minutes feature on Pacquiao:
On Pacquiao's smiling ring entrances:
Simon - "I've never seen a fighter walk towards the ring smiling. Are you just doing that, is it a tactic, or are you really happy?"
Pacquiao - "That's just me; I'm always smiling."
On Pacquiao's ranking among the greats:
Simon - "Just how good is Manny Pacquiao?"
Arum - "I think Manny Pacquiao is the best fighter that I have ever seen."
**Simon narration: Bob Arum has promoted many of the world's great fighters including "The Greatest".
Arum - "I did 25 fights for Ali,"
Simon - "You're saying.. you're saying that Manny Pacquiao is a greater fighter than Muhammad Ali?"
Arum - "Yes he is, because Muhammad Ali was essentially a one-handed fighter. Manny Pacquiao really shocks these fighters, because he hits equally hard from the left side or the right side."
On Pacquiao using boxing as a means to get out of poverty:
**Simon narration: She (Manny's mom) wanted him to be a priest. He wanted to play basketball. But basketball didn't bring in bread, boxing did.
Simon - "How much?" (asking how much Pacquiao made when he started boxing)
Pacquiao - "100 pesos."
Simon - "100 pesos?"
Pacquiao - "Which is equivalent to 2 dollars."
Simon - "2 dollars to box?"
Pacquiao - "Yes" (laughing)
Simon - "And what are you making now?"
Pacquiao - (laughing) "Huh? Millions haha" (laughing)
On when trainer Freddie Roach realized Pacquiao was special:
Simon - "When did you realize that Manny was more than a really good boxer, that he was going to be a champion?"
Roach - "You know that first round really told me something." (Referring to the first time he did mitts with Manny)
Simon - "Already, the first round?"
Roach - "Because I never saw somebody with so much explosion on a punch. Bang! Bang! Bang! He was just like a gun firing off, and I never saw that all my life. And I've been with a lot of good fighters." (28 World Champions)
TRIVIA: Can you name the other 27 world champions Roach has handled? I'll give you a few: Mike Tyson, Gerry Penalosa, James Toney and Ana Julaton are some of them.
On Pacquiao's popularity in the Philippines:
Arum - There is nobody.. In the Philippines, nobody, who is not watching Manny Pacquiao fight and there must be blind Filipinos and they are listening.
In closing, Simon asked Pacquiao the money question:
Simon - "Who do you think is the greatest boxer ever?"
Pacquiao - "Including me?"
Simon - "Including you..."
Pacquiao - "Of course me." (smiling)