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The boxer known as 'Pac-Man' follows his Hatton knockout by singing in downtown L.A. -- after the Laker game, of course. Why not? He's already released a couple of singles in the Philippines.
By Yvonne Villarreal
May 6, 2009
Manny "Pac-Man" Pacquiao may be called the world's top pound-for-pound boxer, especially after a second-round knockout victory against Ricky "The Hitman" Hatton over the weekend in Las Vegas. But Monday night he was, pound-for-pound, the greatest singer in the world -- at least to some of those in attendance at the Conga Room in downtown Los Angeles to celebrate his victory.
"Tonight he can sing all night," trainer Freddie Roach said at the event benefiting the Manny Pacquiao Foundation, which supports underprivileged individuals in the Philippines. "You fight hard, you get to have fun . . . but not too much."
Projection screens in the Latin-infused nightclub showed boxing footage of Pacquiao as hundreds crowded the floor in anticipation of the International Boxing Organization and Ring magazine's world junior-welterweight champion. With Pacquiao scheduled to sing at 9 p.m., some drank and others danced as they waited. And waited.
But the 30-year-old Filipino boxing superstar was late to his own party because, like many Angelenos on Monday night, he was watching the Lakers take on the Houston Rockets in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal series -- just across the way from the Conga Room, in the crowd at Staples Center.
It wasn't long before fans -- some wearing shirts with Pacquiao's face emblazoned on them -- began chanting, "Manny! Manny! Manny!" By 11:30 p.m., the People's Champion (another of his many nicknames) had arrived. His first stop: the stage.
Outfitted in a cream-colored suit jacket and jeans, and surrounded by his entourage and fans, Pacquiao grabbed a mike and unleashed his vocal flair -- no match for his powerful left hook, but still displayed on numerous YouTube videos -- alongside Filipino singer Lito Camo. A sea of brightly lighted cellphone screens and camera flashes filled the space as Pacquiao crooned "Lahing Pinoy," which also served as his entrance song for his fight with Hatton:
"Sumigaw ang pinoy -- HOY!!
Ang lahat ng pinoy -- HOY!!
Ang lahi ng pinoy sa mundo
Fans sang the song, which celebrates Filipino pride, along with their icon.
"We just recorded that before the fight," Pacquiao said, addressing the mostly Filipino crowd. "Next time I'm going to make an English song for everyone."
Pacquiao's global reach isn't limited to jabs and punches. His performance Monday night hinted at stardom outside the ring; in the Philippines, he's already previously released two songs. And he wouldn't be the first boxing powerhouse to venture into entertainment.
Sugar Ray Robinson unsuccessfully attempted a career as an entertainer after his boxing career ended. Two-time world heavyweight boxing champion George Foreman, now a successful businessman perhaps best known for the George Foreman brand grills, briefly starred in his own sitcom on ABC, "George." And, in 2000, Oscar de la Hoya released a self-titled Latin pop album that was nominated for a Grammy.
If the roar of Pacquiao's fans during his performance is any indication, there are plenty of people who would flock to buy a future album release.
"Not only is he a good athlete, but he's a great entertainer," said Robert Lyons, 51, a fan from Rancho Palos Verdes. "He has a way of capturing the hearts of everyone. It's great to see . . . and it's now great to listen."
Listen they did. Shortly after midnight, Apple from the Black Eyed Peas got behind the DJ booth and, as 1 a.m. neared, Pacquiao joined him onstage for another round of vocal bobbing and weaving. During the half-hour set, he performed the song he's most famous for, "Para Sa Iyo," and three other songs from an album scheduled to be released in the Philippines before the end of the year.
The crowd was his.
Victorious in the ring. Now, at least for one night, victorious on the stage.
article source: latimes.com
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
MANNY PACQUIAO's Star-Studded Victory Party at the CONGA ROOM in LOS ANGELES - Videos Aired May 6, 2009
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