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Notebook: Manny Pacquiao asks fans to wear yellow to Saturday’s title fight


Steve Marcus

Boxer Manny Pacquiao, left, of the Philippines faces off with Shane Mosley of Pomona, Calif. during a news conference at the MGM Grand Wednesday, May 4, 2011. Pacquiao will defend his WBO welterweight title against Mosley at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday.

Pacquiao Mosley news conference

Boxers Manny Pacquiao, left, of the Philippines and Shane Mosley of Pomona, Calif. pose during a news conference at the MGM Grand Wednesday, May 4, 2011. Pacquiao will defend his WBO welterweight title against Mosley at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday. Launch slideshow »

Manny Pacquiao will wear yellow gloves Saturday when he takes on Shane Mosley at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in defense of his WBO welterweight title.

He hopes you join him by wearing yellow, too.

Pacquiao delivered a heartfelt message Wednesday during a press conference to promote the fight, telling a packed MGM Grand Hollywood Theater of media and fans about his quest to end poverty in his native Philippines. The yellow is a symbol of unity and hope to end poverty.

“All my life, I have had to fight,” said Pacquiao, who is also a congressman in the Philippines. “As a child, I had to fight just to eat. (That) was my background when I was young. Now, when I fight, Filipinos they call me a hero. I believe this world needs more heroes.

“The biggest fight in my life is not in boxing,” he continued. “The biggest fight in my life is how to end poverty in my country.”

Pacquiao has repeatedly given his time and money to champion this cause. He’s donated millions to helping improve the Philippines’ education and hospital system and is helping build homes and give a better lifestyle to the poor.

“He is such a humble person,” said Bob Arum, president of Top Rank, which promotes Pacquiao. “He is so sincere with his intentions. Everybody likes him because they see somebody who comes from nothing, from the streets of Manila. He has worked his way up from the streets.”

The 16,000-seat MGM Grand Garden Arena sold out five weeks ago, with a majority of the fans likely to be cheering for Pacquiao. Don’t be surprised if several are wearing yellow.

“Unity is the best weapon for us,” said Pacquiao (53-3-2), who enters on a 13-match winning streak.

'Sugar' Shane’s camp complimented by Pacquiao:

Shane Mosley knows he’s not the fighter some fans would prefer to see in the ring Saturday against Pacquiao.

But the would-be mega fight between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. has never materialized, giving the veteran Mosley a crack at what could be one of the biggest upsets in recent boxing history.

“Thanks to Manny Pacquiao, because if it was not for him, this fight would not have happened,” said Mosley, who at 39 years old is still believed to have the speed and punch to give Pacquiao a good fight.

“And maybe a little bit of thanks to Mayweather, too,” he added in receiving laughs from the crowd. “If he would have stepped in, it would be him fighting and not me.”

Mayweather, who last fought a year ago against Mosley, has always had not-so-pleasant words for Pacquiao during the fight negotiation process. And when Pacquiao and Mosley were on their publicity tour in February, Mayweather often posted video links to Pacquiao’s defeats on his Twitter account.

In comparison, Pacquiao Wednesday credited the Mosley camp for being professional. It’s something that would haven’t had happened against Mayweather.

“I am so happy for this fight because no trash talk,” Pacquiao said. “This is a good example to children who idolize the fighters.”

Pacquiao attracts big-time media:

Here’s a good indication of how popular Pacquiao has become: More than 500 media members applied to cover Saturday’s fight, with about 270 credentialed because of space constraints.

The media is coming from major markets, such as New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco.

Mosley understands the media is there to document Pacquiao’s actions in and out of the ring, but he would love nothing more than to give them another storyline.

“With me and Manny, we are both warriors and we both love to fight,” Mosley said. “We are both winners, and when you get two winners in there, it will be a heck of a fight.”

Additionally, crews from Showtime are all over the MGM filming the Pacquiao-Mosley 24/7 prefight reality series. The show also appeared on CBS, a rare appearance on network television for boxing.

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