LOS ANGELES — The sandy blond hair looked the same. So did the boyish smile. But when he got up close, it looked like Canelo Alvarez had abandoned training and took up eating as a hobby. He was easily 60 pounds over the middleweight threshold.
But no, it wasn’t the real Canelo. It was the Mexican star’s stunning lookalike who shows up at big boxing events in Las Vegas.
Such is the drawing power and mass appeal of Manny Pacquiao, whose recent fight against Adrien Broner attracted celebrities from the A to D list in Sin City.
But the list that really mattered the most was the number of pay-per-view units sold on Showtime — 400,000 or a value of $30 million according to ESPN.
Even at 40, Pacquiao’s ability to generate pay-per-view buys remains robust, which is no surprise considering that the Filipino legend has surpassed the one million pay-per-view buys seven times in his Hall-of-Fame career.
Although the official judges showed a lot of generosity toward Broner by giving Pacquiao only a 116-112 (twice) and 117-111 margin, ESPN and the Associated Press both scored it a 120-108 shutout.
Still, Broner had the audacity to insist that he won.
He said he was robbed. But no, it was Pacquiao who got robbed of a great fight and a few highlights because Broner chose to run, run, run.
View the fight again and you will see for yourself that not once did Broner move his feet forward. He danced backwards for 12 rounds and 36 minutes.
An eye injury, albeit minor, and a burglary in his L.A. home bummed out Pacquiao, but not enough to ruin his celebratory mood because the eye issue heals in in a few days while whatever is of great value that was stolen can be claimed on insurance.
Pacquiao collected a $10 million purse plus his share of the PPV. And payday for him also meant payday for his massive entourage of cooks, security, massage boys, friends and hangers on.
Pacquiao’s payroll list is thicker than the Bible.
Mrs. Jinkee was also in a happy mood.
According to sources, the luscious Mrs. Pacquiao, spent her last day here in L.A., shopping at The Grove and at the world-famous Rodeo Drive. We don’t know the tab on this last sortie but Pacquiao once gifted his mom Dionisia a $70,000 Hermes bag.
If Manny is bleeding money right now he’s not worried.
There will be plenty of replenishment when he fights Floyd Mayweather in a rematch this July.