HBO premieres documentary following Manny Pacquiao as he prepares for Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

HBO has premiered the first of its two-part Mayweather/Pacquiao: At Last series. In the mini-documentary, HBO profiles its respective fighter in the mega-bout, Manny Pacquiao, as his May 2 showdown nears.

The first episode’s time frame spans as early as 2003, when Pacquiao’s boxing ascent was first recognized, to the superfight’s focal issues around negotiations. Once again, HBO’s beautiful production shines through in what is perhaps an Emmy-contending feature. Cameo appearances also occur from Mark Wahlberg and Robert Duvall, both in support of Pacquiao as he prepares to defeat his rival Mayweather.

Enjoy the episode above to get yourself prepared for the fight of our generation.

15-Minutes With Manny Pacquiao

Next Shark (by Benny Luo; Photography by Melly Lee)

As expected from a celebrity of Pacquiao’s caliber, his schedule was constantly filling up and changing. Our originally planned date to shoot was changed at the last minute to the day before. Not only that, but on the day of the interview, our time with him was cut from 30 minutes down to 20 minutes and then finally to less than 15 minutes — meaning we literally had less than 15 minutes to do a video and photoshoot with him. But none of us even flinched — we’ve had days where interviewees would cancel on us last minute when we were already literally in front of their door, because “something came up.” Here was a man who was getting interview requests from mainstream outlets left and right, and yet he still made time for small fry like us. That was the moment I got my first peek into Manny Pacquiao’s character.

From the outside, it seemed as if the logistics would be a production nightmare. Apart from the scheduling issues, however, everything fell into place that day. As I was arriving to the shoot location, I got a call from the person handling publicity for Pacquiao while in Los Angeles.

“He’s on the way, but he’ll be 20 minutes late.”

To make sure things were easy for him, we saved one spot for his car when he arrived. Little did we know he was actually rolling up in a giant Escalade — along with an entourage that took up two other Escalades. Suddenly, we had to figure out how to fit three large SUVs into a small garage.

We managed to fit the first car into the garage with no problems. Manny’s car arrived second. Once Manny and his crew got out of the car, I walked up to shake his hand and to introduce myself. He then gave me a monotone, “Nice to meet you.” I could tell he was drained.

Once inside, a near-empty studio with just a few people was suddenly packed with almost two dozen people. His entourage included people taking pictures of him on their iPhones and a cameraman that shot video while following him around.

His schedule was so tight that his publicist was already screaming that they had to leave the moment he set foot in the door. I usually like to meet everyone and try to warm up with the person I’m interviewing, but I knew that was nearly impossible. I simply looked at Manny, pointed to the chair and told him to sit and get ready.

We spent a total of less than 15 minutes doing both the interview and photoshoot. Manny and his crew quickly left afterward for their next meeting. I could hear the tires screech as they left. And suddenly, our studio was empty again just liked it had been 15 minutes before he arrived.

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Manny was in Los Angeles to promote his new documentary film, eponymously titled “Manny.” It’s directed by first-time filmmaker Ryan Moore, a USC film student who got the opportunity to make the film after a casual meeting with Manny in 2008 at a charity event. He told Life + Times:

“I think he knew that I was genuinely passionate about his story. I lived in the Philippines for five years and knowing what my family’s struggle was like, my imagination started running wild as to what Manny’s childhood was like being amongst the poorest of the poor. One thing I always knew was that I wanted this to be a visceral experience and I didn’t want this to be your typical documentary. I felt that Manny’s story was ‘Rocky’ meets ‘Slumdog Millionaire.’ I wanted to make a movie that was more than boxing.”

The film is special not just because it shows what a badass Manny Pacquiao is in the ring, but because it shows how he’s a badass outside of it too. “Manny” highlights Pacquiao’s life growing up in a family that struggled to put food on the table everyday. At the age of 16, weighing in at only 98 pounds, Manny started his boxing career in order to earn money to take care of his family.

“Back then, we experienced [not] eating food, because we didn’t have money to buy food, so we just drinking water. That’s our experience and we survived. It’s not easy … even though I’m a successful person right now, I don’t want to change my attitude — always humble. Humility is always there because of my experience passing through this difficult life.”

The film features interviews with Manny himself, his wife Jinkee Pacquiao, coach Freddie Roach, Mark Wahlberg, Jeremy Piven, Alex Ariza, Jimmy Kimmel, Larry Merchant and Bert Sugar. It is also narrated by Liam Neeson, who was chosen because he was a boxer himself up until he was 19.

Today, Manny is far from just a world champion boxer. In the Philippines, his home country, he is also a politician, a singer with a hit single and an entrepreneur. He’s so influential that it is said the crime rate drops down to zero percent during his fights. Why? Because literally everyone rushes to their TV screens to cheer for their country’s hero.

On what it’s like being poor and now being rich, Pacquiao’s response was relatively simple.

“The changes in my life is of course, I have plenty of food and I can buy whatever I want. And the Lord provides me all the things that we want to do. The way I treat people I’m still the same.”

In addition to his riches and success as an adult, Pacquiao has had dark times as well. He’s admitted that he was a womanizer, degenerate gambler and drinker in the past. However, he left all of it behind after becoming a devout Christian. To this day, Pacquiao admits his biggest fear has to do with his faith:

“My fear is [losing] my relationship to the Lord, to my God. That’s the biggest fear. That’s why I’m always building up my relationship with the Lord.”

Whatever his venture, Pacquiao reveals what his biggest passion is.

“… I think I already started doing it: Helping people … My goal in life is to help them, where I came from, and the people who are in need also. Because I know what they’re feeling and I know they really need help.”

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With everyone wondering whether the epic fight between him and Mayweather is going to happen, Pacquiao unfortunately has no new news.

“My promoter and I have agreed already to whatever terms and conditions he wants. We’re just waiting for the signed contract. If he signed the contract [the] fight will be on and we’ll announce it. I believe the fans deserve that fight.”

When asked what he wants his audience and fans to take from watching his new documentary movie, he said:

“This is a very good movie. It will inspire people, especially the fans of boxing. They will know more about me, about Manny, not only in boxing, but my life, before I become like this. I’m pretty sure they’ll be inspired after they watch this movie. The [release] date will be January 23 in select theaters.”

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Manny Pacquiao avenges loss in dominating win over Timothy Bradley

 

Forbes:

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Celebrities like Jack Nicholson, Will Ferrell and 50 Cent came out to Las Vegas Saturday night to see if one of the greatest boxers of his generation still could deliver the goods as Manny Pacquiao squared off against Timothy Bradley, Jr. for the WBO title. The eight-division world champion, who also serves as a Filipino congressman, did not disappoint the pro-Pacquiao crowd in a dominating victory over Bradley. The unanimous decision for Pacquiao avenged his June 2012 split decision defeat to Bradley in a bout that almost all observers had Pacquiao winning handily. Pacquiao put the decision in the hands of the judges once again, but they scored it 118-110, 116-112 and 116-112, and we avoided a repeat of what Top Rank CEO Bob Arum called a “death knell for the sport” after the decision for Pacquiao-Bradley I.

It was the eighth straight fight for Pacquiao that ended with a decision and not with knockout, but he was more aggressive than he has been in recent bouts. He controlled the second half of the fight winning at least six of the seven final rounds on all three judges’ cards.  “I knew I had to do more in this fight than I did in the last fight,” said Pacquiao after the win. Pacquiao pocketed $20 million for the fight, down from $26 million for their June 2012 fight. Bradley earned a career best $6 million in his title defense. Pacquiao has earned more than $300 million in his career since he turned pro in 1995.

What’s next for Pacquiao? Forget the eternally discussed mega-fight with Floyd Mayweather. The blood feud between Top Rank/HBO and Golden Boy/Showtime/Mayweather is at an all-time high and makes the Hatfields vs. McCoys look quaint. Mayweather and Pacquiao are not crossing party lines to make this happen even it would generate $150 million for the fighters to share.

I think I can fight for two more years,” said Pacquiao after Saturday’s fight. His most likely opponent is the winner of the May 17 matchup between Juan Manuel Marquez and Mike Alvarado. Arum promotes all three fighters greasing the wheels to an agreement, and the winner of the May fight will be Pacquiao’s mandatory challenger.

Marquez is a significant favorite over Alvarado and a fight against Pacquiao would be the fifth in a series between the two warriors that started in 2004. Pacquiao leads the series 2-1 with their first fight ending in a draw. Pacquiao had a 15-fight winning streak before Bradley defeated him under a cloud of controversy in 2012. Marquez knocked out Pacquiao in December 2012 leading many to question if Pacquiao was nearing the end. Pacquiao avenged his Bradley loss and no doubt would like to do the same with Marquez.

Money reportedly held up previous negotiations on Pacquiao-Marquez 5, which resulted in Pacquiao in the ring against Bradley Saturday night. But Marquez is coming off a split decision loss to Bradley in October and a showdown with Pacquiao is his chance to score a career high payday. “I have no problem with fighting Marquez again, but that’s up to my promoter, Bob Arum,” Pacquiao said.

Fans have not tired of the rivalry with the last two bouts averaging 1.3 million pay-per-view buys and both among the biggest audiences of Pacquiao’s long, successful PPV career. Look for Arum to make a fifth bout in the stories franchise for later in 2014.

Check out this link:

Manny Pacquiao avenges loss in dominating win over Timothy Bradley

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Pacquaio-Mayweather fight deal is being denied

A report from 78sports that the Manny Pacquiao – Floyd Mayweather fight is a done deal is being denied by Pacquiao’s adviser, Michael Koncz, according to ABS CBN.

78SportsTV quoting unnamed sources had reported the fight would be held September 2014. The report claimed the source has been right at predicting  previous Mayweather fights as well.

Don’t believe that story unless Manny or I tell you its true,” Koncz said.

Koncz said Pacquiao would not make a decision about his next fight until after the holidays.

You can read more about Pacquiao’s next possible opponent on ABS CBN.

Check out this link:

Pacquaio-Mayweather fight deal is being denied