Philippines, Sports, television

Pacquiao, Donaire Fight on the Same Night Sunday

Two for the price of one.

On Sunday, November 6 (Saturday, November 5 Las Vegas time), two of the Philippines’ best pugilists will fight on the same night. That’s right, for the first time ever, Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire will be on one card together.

The headline attraction will pit Pacquiao against Jessie Vargas for the WBO Welterweight title. Prior to that, Donaire will defend his WBO Super Bantamweight title against unbeaten Jessie Magdaleno.

Both Pacquiao and Donaire are considered one of the best boxers in the world. Their fights have become the stuff of legend, and each have the titles to back their claim.

However, they have never shared the same stage. That is, until this Sunday in Las Vegas.

For Pacquiao, his return to the ring came unexpectedly. After defeating Timothy Bradley in April, he initially announced his retirement in order to focus as a politician, but despite winning a seat in the Senate (with mostly negative reviews from critics), Pacquiao decided to give boxing another shot.

For Donaire, it will be his third defense of the WBO Super Bantamweight title he won over Cesar Juarez in December of last year. Two weeks after Pacquiao’s victory over Bradley, Donaire successfully defended his belt against Zsolt Bedak.

As far as the Philippine broadcast rights go, that honor goes to Solar Entertainment and GMA Network, since Pacquiao is tagged as the headliner in this card. It will air on a delayed basis on GMA and Solar Sports, and live on Super Radyo DZBB 594 and all cable and satellite pay-per-view outlets.

For Donaire, it will be his first fight since 2009’s bout with Rafael Concepcion (which coincidentally aired on GMA) in which ABS-CBN does not have any television rights. The said network has owned the rights to all Top Rank cards that do not involve Pacquiao since 2010.

With two of the Philippines’ top-ranked boxers fighting on the same night, expect the millions to congregate and watch this unprecedented event blow-by-blow. But like Pacquiao’s last fight with Bradley, it remains to be seen if there are still believers in the Pacman.

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entertainment, Philippines, Sports, television, United States

Little Noise for #PacBradIII

Sunday may be Pacquiao vs. Bradley III, but it seems as if there is not much to talk about.

While a fight involving Manny Pacquiao usually equals to ‘national holiday’ in the Philippines, his third match with Timothy Bradley will be something else. One month after the bout with Bradley, Pacquiao’s status as a politician will be on the line, as he guns for one of the 12 seats in the Philippine Senate.

Any promotional material that exceeds the limits set by the Fair Elections Act of the Commission of Elections may lead to a national candidate’s disqualification. Thus, with Pacquiao also running for Senator in this May’s elections, very little promotion was made for the fight here in the Philippines.

COMELEC, on its part, has allowed the fight to be aired here, since they received no formal complaints in relation to his candidacy. Despite that, the only known mention of a blow-by-blow multi-platform coverage is through a series of promotional videos from Solar Sports (see example below) and an announcement made by GMA online.

That said, in order to comply with the Fair Elections Act, neither Solar Sports nor GMA were able to aggressively promote the fight. Instead, they made use of news clips to inform viewers of the two fighters and the event itself.

With so little noise, not to mention Pacquiao’s controversial remarks on the LGBT community in February, the third installment of Pacquiao vs. Bradley is expected to be the least hyped of them all. The expectation that Pacquiao is using the fight just to gain the voters’ confidence may convince them not to watch the fight at all, because it may hurt the chances of other, more deserving candidates.

On Sunday, Pacquiao steps into the ring for perhaps the final time. But the question is, will you watch?

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