LOS ANGELES - A former bodyguard of the late 'King of Pop' Michael Jackson gave Manny Pacquiao a smirk as the black American fan asked the Pinoy fighter to sign his shirt with a huge '47-1' printed at the back.
“Oh 47-1 to ah,” Pacquiao told the tall American named Earl Battice to the delight of the members of his team.
The 47-1 represents the record that Mayweather will end up with if he loses to Pacquiao in the so-called 'Fight of the Century' to be held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on May 2 (May 3, Manila time).
Battice bared that he got his shirt from a Filipino friend who designed it to include a play on Floyd Mayweather’s 'The Money Team (TMT) logo, which was turned into TFL for 'The First Loss.'
“I got this shirt from a friend. And I loved it. I know it will happen on Saturday. Mayweather’s gonna get some beating,” said Battice, a former US Army Serviceman and Los Angeles Police.
The outspoken Charlotte native said it was a joy to meet Pacquiao for the second time.
“He (Pacquiao) looked at it (47-1 shirt) and said, ‘Oh, that’s nice,’ so I said thank you very much. He signed it, and he said, ‘Thank you very much.' And I said, ‘No, thank you very much,'” recalled the American in between giggles.
“That’s one of the reasons why I root for Manny, his humbleness, he stopped because I asked him. I said, ‘Hey, will you sign?' then he stopped his entourage and he signed my shirt and he shook my hand,” he added.
Asked why he is rooting for Pacquiao and not for countryman Mayweather, Battice said: “I like what Pacquiao does for his people. I like his humility. I prefer Pacquiao. Mayweather is a great fighter, but I don’t like his arrogance.
“It’s not about your nationality and compatriotism, it’s about who your heart chooses, and with this I choose Manny.”
View video of Battice's meeting with Pacquiao:
Battice said he longs to see Pacquiao deal Mayweather his first career loss.
“Oh yes (I’d be happy to see Mayweather down on the floor) coz that means he loses, and that is what I want,” said Battice. “Manny, kick his ass. I love the Filipino spirit!”
Several American fans Spin.ph talked to shared his sentiment.
Armenian-American cab driver Catchitryan Ruzzo declared that Mayweather’s cockiness turns him off.
“I would really like to see Mayweather get his ass whooped. I love his game, but I don’t like his attitude,” said Ruzzo. “This fight should have been done a long time ago. Whoever wins, I really think there should be a rematch. I pick Pacquiao here via decision, Mayweathers not gonna be knocked out.”
Mexican Carlo Santiago told Spin.ph that though he hated Pacquiao for most of his life after the Filipino puncher beat some of the toughest boxers of his country, he is now rooting for the 'Pacman.'
“I hope Pacquiao wins. He deserves it. I think he is a better fighter. I just wish he’d do to Mayweather everything he did to our top boxers like (Erik) Morales, (Marco Antonio) Barrera and the rest,” he said.
Meanwhile, Pacquiao continues to be the underdog of the fight as he is +175 against Mayweather who is a -225 favorite.