LOS ANGELES - He may have lost his World Boxing Organisation (WBO) welterweight crown but not his zest for fun.
On Sunday, Manny Pacquiao joked that he would like the unbeaten American Timothy Bradley, who took his title in a controversial fight in Las Vegas, to join his game show "Manny Many Prizes" and "win for real."
At a press conference promoting the taping of the show scheduled for today at Gibson Amphitheater of Universal Studios here, Pacquiao was asked if he would like Bradley to be a contestant.
In a response that elicited laughter from his audience, the Sarangani congressman and former world champ said: "'Pag naglaro s'ya, papanalunin natin-nang totoo (If he plays, we will make him win-this time, for real)."
An eight-division title winner, Pacquiao was referring to the split decision Bradley won in their championship fight in June. Pacquiao, who was a 5-1 favourite before the fight, lost his crown due to an allegedly flawed scoring by the ring judges.
Following the controversy, Sen. John McCain of Arizona and Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada proposed the creation of a body called the US Boxing Commission (USBC) to regulate boxing in the United States.
Pacquiao had a rematch clause with Bradley but chose not to exercise it. Instead, the Filipino will fight Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez on Dec. 8 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
When Bradley heard about Pacquiao's decision to fight Marquez, he told The Desert Sun newspaper: "I can't believe these guys. He (Pacquiao) didn't want any part of me. Marquez is an easier fight. He knows that a fight with me and two good legs is going to be hell."
Pacquiao told the press conference at the Church of Scientology Celebrity Center that he was eager to return to the ring and face the Mexican for the fourth time.
The first Pacquiao-Marquez fight in 2004 ended in a draw. The Filipino won the second fight in 2008 by a split decision and last November's rematch by a majority decision.
"Until we grow old, Marquez and I will be fighting each other," Pacquiao said jestingly in Filipino when asked how he felt about fighting a familiar foe for the fourth time.
Some sports analysts believe that Pacquiao and Marquez are two of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters of their generation, perfectly matched in terms of style, and can give fans a razor-close, sensational bout each time they meet.
Pacquiao told the Inquirer that he would start training next month for the fight with Marquez. Joining Pacquiao at the press conference were GMA 7 TV network game show cohosts Rhian Ramos, Paolo Contis, Gladys Guevarra and Onyok Velasco, as well as Elmo Magalona, Julie Anne San Jose and Solenn Heussaff.
The show, produced here by Starmedia's Ana Puno and Vic Perez, is part of GMA Pinoy TV's seventh anniversary presentation.
During the show, qualified ticket holders will have a chance to win big cash prizes, a brand-new Nissan Urvan and a two-bedroom condo unit for their loved ones in the Philippines.
"We expect a jam-packed show," Perez said.