A NOTED boxing analyst said Monday that Ghanaian boxer Joshua Clottey stepped into the ring for the money and not to fight squarely boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao in Sunday’s “The Event” at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

“Si Joshua Clottey ay dumating hindi para lumaban kundi para kumolekta ng kaniyang bayad sa pakikipagsabayan kay Manny Pacquiao,” Al Mendoza said in radio interview.

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“Ang boksing kasi, dapat magsusuntukan kayo... Masamang ehemplo sa boksing si Clottey,” the sports analyst added.

It can be recalled that for most part of the fight, Clottey used his turtle defense, throwing and connecting lesser punches and apparently waiting for Pacquiao to tire out.

“‘Di buo ang loob niyang makipagsuntukan kay Manny Pacquiao,” Mendoza said.

He said although Clottey heavily lost to the seven-time division champion, he was still a “winner” as the 32-year-old boxer is set to pocket US$3 million after Cowboys Stadium owner Jerry Jones was satisfied by the huge attendance in Sunday’s bout.

The prize is said to be the biggest paycheck Clottey will receive since he went professional in 1995.

“Talo siya pero panalo pa rin sa bandang huli,” he said.

Reports said Pacquiao will get at least US$ 12 million for the fight, excluding pay-per-view and endorsement shares.

The Pacquiao-Clottey fight is the third largest crowd for an indoor fight in boxing history, trailing Julio Cesar Chavez Pernell Whitaker bout in September 1993 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas (58,891) and the Muhammad Ali-Leon Spinks heavyweight title fight at the Louisiana Superdome in 1978, where 63,315 boxing fans showed up.

Celebrations

Celebrations for Pacquiao’s victory are now left and right. A television report said he went to Dallas Rangers Ballpark for his victory concert-party after the fight.

The report said Pacquiao was joined by singer-composer Lito Camo, Madonna Decena, the MP band, and Journey lead vocalist Arnel Pineda in the singing spree. Pineda sang the Philippine National Anthem before the start of Pacquiao’s title defense.

The pound-for-pound king also heard a Thanksgiving Mass at the Convention Center before embarking for a three-hour flight to Los Angeles, California.

From Los Angeles, Pacquiao will fly to Hawaii to hold a concert before returning to the Philippines next week.

Liberal Party bet Senator Noynoy Aquino also joined the chorus of politicians congratulating Pacquiao.

"Isa itong malaking karangalan sa ating bansa. Patunay ito na kayang-kaya ng Pilipinong makipagsapalaran, magtagumpay at makilala sa buong mundo,” he said in a statement.

Aquino added that political affiliations became immaterial once Pacquiao fights in the boxing ring.

“When he is in the ring doing what he does best, the colors I see are red, blue, white, and yellow. He should be an inspiration to all of us,” he said while referring to the colors of the Philippine flag.

For his part, Lakas-Kampi-CMD standard-bearer Gilberto Teodoro has called on private sectors to support the development of key sports where Philippines has the best chances of winning medals in international competitions.

“To attain more gold medals in the field of sports, I feel we should concentrate our resources on a few key sports, like boxing, and set up a well-managed program which focuses all our efforts on these sports,” he said.

“Private sector support is crucial for any sport development program,” Teodoro said. “But the private sector can only be enlisted to join the search for the next Manny Pacquiao in other sports, if our sports program has a clear goal and a plan.”

Hero’s welcome

Malacañang is preparing a hero’s welcome for Pacquiao after he defeated Clottey Sunday.

Deputy Presidential spokesperson Gary Olivar, in his press briefing Monday, said that although President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has a full plate this week, the Palace will still find time to throw a hero’s welcome for the pound-for-pound boxer.

“The preparation will most likely start within this week, as you know there are other things on our plate that we giving full attention to but this (hero’s welcome) is part of the schedule of the palace,” Olivar said.

He also said that Pacquiao’s decision to endorse an opposition presidential candidate in the person of Villar will not encroach on the desire of Malacañang to honor another achievement of the world-known Filipino champ.

“The way Manny is being identified to an opposition does not affect Malacañang in the same way the Comelec (Commission on Elections) said that any tribute to Manny will not be treated as electioneering,” he said.

He dismissed that the hero’s welcome for Paqcuiao this time will be less grand than the previous homage.

Olivar said they will not be surprised if politicians utilize the recent victory of Pacquiao in their individual political interest.

“Manny will be a big asset for them…we can only give them all the best of luck. We trust that Manny will continue o maintain himself above all else as a symbol of national unity and national pride,” he said.

But unlike Pacquiao’s previous victories, Olivar said he is not sure if there will be another award to be conferred to the people’s champ.

Pacquiao was given the Order of Sikatuna and was appointed ambassador of peace and goodwill. “We are running out of award to give him. But we will deliberate on it because want to honor the success of every exceptional Filipino like Manny Pacquiao.”

Blow-out party

Nacionalista Party standard bearer Senator Manny Villar is likewise set to give his party-mate a hero’s welcome once he gets back to the Philippines.

In a statement circulated to media, Villar said details of the blow-out party have yet to be ironed out.

“Hindi ko alam kung ano ang gagawin, subalit bibigyan namin sya ng isang malaking pagsalubong. Hindi namin alam kung sasabay na kami sa marami o bibigyan namin s'ya ng separate,” he said.

Villar said Pacquiao phoned him to commit his presence in the NP campaign trail after successfully retaining his World Boxing Organization (WBO) weltwerweight title against Clottey.

“Tinawagan nya ako kasi pagkatapos na pagkatapos ng kanyang laban at sinasabi nya na sa lalong madaling panahon ay siya ay uuwi rito para makapag-kampanya na...Pagkadating nya dito ay tutulungan na naming s'yang magkampanya dun sa Sarangani at gano'n din naman sya sa akin," Villar said.

Pacquiao will run against Roy Chiongbian, a top executive of Eastern Shipping Lines for the lone district of Saranggani. He joined the country’s oldest political party on his 31st birthday in December 18 last year.

Good congressman

Now that Pacquiao’s boxing fight is over, he is expected to deep his hands into another fight -- the political arena.

Asked if he thinks Pacquiao would also be a “good congressman” as how he plays well in the boxing, Olivar said that ability in boxing is different from ability in politics.

“This is obviously his decision to make at the end of the day but we are expecting for a common denominator – that he could also find a way to become a champion public servant as how he did it to become a champion boxer.”

The Palace spokesperson believed that Pacquiao will not struggle to skip from one career to another since he has shown deep interest to serve and give pride to his countrymen.

Although, Villar was very vocal of getting Pacquiao as one of his endorsers, the administration party said they are not closing their doors for Pacquiao.

“Obviously he would prefer that he run in the administration party than with one of the opposition parties,” he added.

Reminder from Comelec

But the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday reminded the Pambansang Kamao to be mindful of campaign rules.

It has been a tradition for the government and other groups to welcome Pacquiao with a victory parade after his boxing matches abroad.

“If it's a local candidate, it comes with the Supreme Court ruling in the Penera case they are not considered candidates for purposes of premature campaigning. Therefore they are not within the limitations of the law,” explained Comelec Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal.

The Filipino boxer, according to the commission, should not use the event as a means to campaign himself during the victory party for him.

Since candidates may be joining Pacquiao in his hero's welcome parade, the poll body also reminded national candidates that the campaign for their posts have already started, thus they should avoid politicizing during the event.

“If it's national candidates, obviously the campaign period has already started and they have to follow the rules,” the Comelec official said.

“We would advise candidates, both for local and national, to refrain from using this event meaning to say don't put streamers or materials that contain ‘vote for’ or any material containing the number corresponding to your name in the ballot. Spare the event from politics,” he furthered.

The sporting event, said Larrazabal, is not an event owned by any particular group, politician or any political party.

Meanwhile, the commercials that were aired during the Pacquiao-Clottey fight should be submitted to the Comelec as part of the candidates' campaign airtime.

Candidates who showed their political commercials include that of Villar, Aquiano, Makati mayoral bet Erwin Genuino, and Mike Velarde-backed party-list group Buhay.

The Comelec urged the public to file complaints on offenses that might be committed during the Pacquiao fight if they have to proof to show such. (Virgil Lopez/Jill Beltran/Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)