By Mark G. Butcher in Macao: Manny Pacquiao came face-to-face with his tiny lookalike at the final press conference for Sunday morning’s mega event at the opulent Venetian Casino.
Pacquiao’s jaw dropped when diminutive Thai Kwanpichit Onesongchaigym took the podium to utter a few pre-fight words ahead of his clash with Chinese boxing icon Zou Shiming. He looked like a shrunken version of the Filipino legend! Zou will be hoping the facial resemblance is where the similarity ends.
A huge, possibly record-breaking, dais sat 24 fighters, promoters, trainers, assistants, a CEO and TV executive. Team Algieri resonated the same unflappable confidence that has been a feature of fight week. It’s hard not to be impressed by their self-belief and focus.
Selected quotes from the press conference follow.
“I believe that it’s going to be an exciting fight on Sunday. It’s all set. We did our best in training. We remember the battles of the old days when I was young - the speed, the power and the determination and aggressiveness is back. So I’m very excited for Sunday for this fight. “
“I’m excited to be back in China. I had a great time on the press tour and now I am here to do work. The talking is done. The hard work is done. The training is done. I’m not going to say too much, but I’ve prepared very well. I’m excited for this weekend. It’s going to be a great show. Make sure you guys come or tune in - you don’t want to miss this.”
“I just realized I’m fighting someone who looks like Manny and is handsome as Manny! I’m very glad to be featured on the same card as Manny Pacquiao. Last time I was on his card, this time I might be his opponent! I’ve always wanted to fight the best fighters in the world. Manny Pacquiao is the very best in the world and now I am facing his lookalike.”
“I know that team DeMarco said that I get tired in the later rounds. Well, that’s going to bite them in the butt. I knew I had to train harder for this fight. DeMarco is a great fighter, an ex-champion and I have a lot of respect for him. We’re going to start off strong, hard and we’re going to finish even stronger until we break him. This is the sport of boxing. It’s a tough sport and we’re in the hurt business.”
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