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 Rock star welcome for Pacquiao

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PostSubject: Rock star welcome for Pacquiao   Sat Nov 21, 2009 11:27 am

http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/SEAsia/Story/STIStory_457334.html

MANILA - THE Philippines rolled out the red carpet in a rock star reception on Friday for pound-for-pound king and newly crowned World Boxing Organisation welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao.

High-ranking officials as well as tens of thousands of fans paid homage as the 30-year-old Pacman flew in five days after demolishing Puerto Rican champ Miguel Cotto to become the only fighter in history to win seven titles in as many weight classes.

His right ear still bandaged and his right hand in a black splint, the smiling future boxing hall-of-famer talked briefly about his fight, dodged questions about his love life and gently poked at his potential next opponent, the brash American, Floyd Mayweather Junior.

'We are not forcing a fight with him. It is right that he is the one challenging me, because my fights score more on pay-per-view,' he told reporters with his wife Jinkee beside him and his three young children playing with his belts. In the background, a banner read: 'Welcome home, the world's best boxer of all time.' 'I did not remove them so the people would know how hard this job is,' the southpaw said of his battle wounds.

Pacquiao said he wanted to relax at his mansion in the southern island of Mindanao before taking care of business - including filing his candidacy for a congressional seat.

Pacquiao is considered a national treasure in the Philippines, a boxing-mad nation of 92 million people, where police say even criminals and Muslim insurgents take the day off whenever his fights are carried on television. -- AFP

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