LAS VEGAS – In the 1970s, “Thrilla in Manila” was one of the most unforgettable fights that continued to be the most talked about among boxing enthusiasts from around the world.
Three decades later, the dream match between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather on May 2 is expected to take its place in boxing history.
International veteran boxing referee Carlos “Sonny” Padilla earned global prominence when he refereed the third fight of Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.
Padilla’s experience in the boxing world makes him familiar with the boxing business.
“Noong araw eh, ‘yung panahon nila, si Ali nung binayaran ng $1 million nagulat na ang mga tao. May halaga naman ang pera noon pero mas mahalaga ngayon,” he said.
Padilla is giving Pacquiao the edge against the American fighter but he also warned the Filipino.
“Kay Pacquiao, gawin niya ‘yung kanyang kaya na naging dahilan para umabot sa ganoong category. Mag-ingat lang siya sapagkat maruming kalaban si Mayweather. Pag nakakita, gagawa ng paraan ‘yan at mandaraya. Baka nga magkagulo pa doon. Alam mo naman ang mga Pilpino ‘pag natapos by decision. Si Mayweather, alaga ng Las Vegas ‘yan.
Padilla added that he doubts the capability of the Nevada State Athletic Commission in handling the Mayweather-Pacquiao bout fairly.
“Huwag na siyang (Pacquiao) umasa, kaya ang gawin niya patumbahin niya o talagang pukpukin niya ng pukpukin,” he said.
Meanwhile, American R&B singer-songwriter Neyo is rooting for Mayweather.
“You know what that’s gonna be a very, very good fight but I gotta say, I love Manny Pacquiao but I’m gonna give that fight to Mayweather,” he said.