Even a simple night on the town turned into something more for Manny Pacquiao.
During Saturday night’s Bernard Hopkins vs. Chad Dawson match-up at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Pacquiao was shown on the jumbotron to a mixed chorus of cheers and boos. The reaction was no doubt new for the Filipino champion, who is generally acknowledged as one of the few “good guys” remaining in the murky and often unpleasant world of boxing.
Whether this reaction to the widely-regarded No. 1 pound-for-pounder in the world came as a result of his reluctance to deal with Floyd Mayweather Jr. or, refusal to respond to Sergio Martinez’s challenge or, something else entirely is anyone’s guess.
Pacquiao was in attendance to support his sparring partner Jorge Linares, who failed to win the vacant WBC junior welterweight title in an undercard bout versus Antonio DeMarco. Linares was taken down via technical knockout (KO) in the 11th round.
Through 10 rounds, Linares was comfortably ahead on most scorecards and looked to be in control of the fight. However, DeMarco regained his composure in the ever-important 11th round and unleashed a series of hard hits on his opponent. Referee Raul Caiz ultimately had to stop the match shortly thereafter when Linares proved himself incapable of defending against the onslaught.
"It was a head butt that broke my nose," Linares said after the match. "The blood really bothered me, and I couldn't see. It was a big factor in the fight. I did the best I could, I think I dominated the fight with my speed and technique but I couldn't see. I want the rematch.”
Linares and Pacquiao, of course, sparred together during the latter’s time in Baguio and developed a certain mutual respect over that time together.
Needless to say, after this, it’s back to business for Pacquiao as he prepares for his November 12 showdown versus Juan Manuel Marquez. Even in the face of a growing number of legal and financial distractions, the champ isn’t looking to be slowing up in his training as he looks to put an end to the pair’s rivalry, once and for all.
Photo Credit: Chris Robinson, Las Vegas Examiner