LAS VEGAS - Not a few foreign mediamen were left puzzled by the identity of one figure who joined Manny Pacquiao in the presidential table during the final press conference of the ‘Fight of the Century’ at the MGM Grand on Wednesday (Thusday, Manila time)
For one, the stage was exclusively for the fighter's top aides and the promoters. It was even revealed that Mayweather Promotions and Showtime only allowed Pacquiao to bring along, at the most, three of his most trusted men to the stage.
The Sarangani congressman, of course, brought along trainer Freddie Roach and business adviser Michael Koncz, and another fellow in Ilocos Sur governor Chavit Singson.
So why is Singson there?
The longtime political kingpin, of couse, is a known ally of Pacquiao who is also vocal in calling Singson one of his 'most trusted advisers.' So much so that he even allowed the veteran politician to take part in the tedious negotiations for his fights against Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Pacquiao and Singson have also been inseparable since they became friends more than a decade ago.
Pacquiao's promoter, Bob Arum, joked during the formal introductions that he already ‘knows the name of the next special guest’ before introducing Singson to the dozens of mediamen in attendance.
That was because the Top Rank boss had a hard time recalling and pronouncing the name of Ilocos Sur's most powerful political leader in the past.
During the final press conference of the Pacquiao-Oscar Dela Hoya Dream Match in 2008, Arum butchered the name of Singson during the introductions.
"And now we have a very famous personage from the Philippines, Governor Takasan,” said Arum, who had a hard time getting Singson's name right based on what he heard from aides whispering in his ear.
Arum again struggled to remember Singson's name during the Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto fight the following year, saying: “There was this gentleman whose name I didn’t get last year and I simply referred to him as Gov. Whatever!”
On Wednesday, the 82-year olf promoter finally got his name right and even allowed Singson to have a few moments on the microphone.
Meanwhile, Singson told Spin.ph he can't be any happier with Pacquiao's buildup for the Mayweather fight.
“Ito na ang pinakamagandang kundisyon nya. I am very confident na mananalo. Posibleng may knockout. Mas maganda kung knockout para wala nang masabi ang tao,” said Singson.
“Mas matindi (ang ensayo niya ngayon). Ibang-iba ang preparasyon niya ngayon, the most serious na ensayo niya ito,” he added. “Ito na ang pinaka the best na preparasyon niya.”
“Yung mga nakaraan hindi masyadong serious, napapabayaan pa nga kung minsan. Ngayon mas grabe pa ang preparason niya kaysa kay (Oscar) De La Hoya,” he said.
“Iba si Manny ngayon. Mas mabilis si Manny at mas preparado ngayon!” he added.
Watch video of interview with Chavit Singson: