EVEN if he dabbles in professional basketball on the side, no way will there be a clause in boxing great Manny Pacquiao’s contract prohibiting him from doing risky things and other extreme activities.
Although aware basketball puts his top client at great risk of suffering injuries that might jeopardize his fighting career, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said he still is not inclined to put a special contract provision sanctioning the Filipino boxer if and when he got hurt while in the course of playing the game.
At 35 and currently the lone representative of the province of Sarangani in Congress, Arum said he trusts Pacquiao enough to take good care of his body and health.
“We have a different kind of relationship, one built on mutual respect and mutual trust,” said Arum, who didn’t deny there are some fighters whose contract included such clauses especially those who are ‘motorcycle guys.’
“So we wouldn’t put it in the contract because of the fact we feel he (Pacquiao) will do the right thing. That’s how it works when you are dealing in an environment will all adults.”
A known hoop junkie, the eight-time world division champion took his love for basketball to a higher level when he agreed to become playing-coach of expansion team Kia Motors in the PBA.
Pacquiao made his debut during the opening of the Philippine Cup against fellow expansion franchise Blackwater in a game that saw the Sorento fight back from a 12-point deficit to win it, 80-66.
The reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion has since detached himself from the game to focus on his training for his November 23 title defense against American challenger Chris Algieri in Macau before shifting his focus back to basketball.
Pacquiao said playing basketball helps him stay in shape especially if he has no forthcoming fight.
“Basketball is good for footwork and balancing. It helps a lot and that is why I am always in shape when I don’t have a fight because I am always playing basketball,” said the Pacman.
“Basketball provides me with great cross-training.”
And since basketball was the subject of discussion, Pacquiao didn’t escape being asked who between him and bitter nemesis Floyd Mayweather Jr. – who also happens to play pick-up games from time to time - is better at playing the game.
The Filipino ring idol lets out a hearty laugh.
“I don’t want to say myself, but (trainer) Freddie (Roach) said it’s me,” he said giggling.