Manny Pacquiao had a bad Saturday night. With the whole world watching and the weight of a nation on his shoulders, the Filipino superstar got knocked out cold by his arch rival, Juan Manuel Marquez. That was bad, but forgivable. What made things ten times worse, however, was how his team reportedly reacted after the fact.
According to Yahoo! Sports, two members of Pacquiao camp attacked Getty Images photographer Al Bello for taking pictures of their guy in a very dazed and confused state. Per Bello’s account of what happened, Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz and assistant trainer Buboy Fernandez began punching and kicking him as he was attempting to, you know, do his job.
In an effort to avoid the altercation Bello retreated – despite the fact that, once again, taking pictures Pacquiao getting dropped is sort of what he was there for.
"Had I not gotten off the ring, I have no doubt the two of them would have beaten the [expletive] out of me and I might have been seriously hurt," Bello told Kevin Iole Yahoo! Sports.
Nevada Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer insists that he will look into the incident.
"What I find interesting is that neither of these gentlemen, nor anyone else on Team Pacquiao, had any problems when the photographers were doing their jobs and shooting pictures of Ricky Hatton after Manny knocked Hatton out," Kizer told Iole.
Prior to this weekend, Pacquiao’s knocking out Hatton had been the signature image of boxing from the last decade.
Really, there is no justification for what Pacquiao’s camp did here. None. You can sympathize with a corner being upset to see their guy hurt, but attacking a photographer for taking pictures of what happened is akin to attacking a reporter for describing what happened. It’s ridiculous. Bello insisted to Iole that he wasn’t looking for any sort of serious punishment to be handed down – that he simply wanted an apology.
Let me say it for him, then: a serious punishment should be handed down. Boxing needs to send a message that this sort of goonish behavior will not be tolerated.
(Kudis Yahoo! Sports)