Manny Pacquiao looked in terrific shape yesterday when he showed up for his biometrics yesterday afternoon at the PBA office with no less than league commissioner Chito Salud welcoming the boxing star with open arms.
Pacquiao, who will serve as the playing coach of expansion team Kia Motors, made a 20-minute stopover at the PBA and had his vital statistics taken as a requirement for all rookies.
“It’s like (I am getting measured for) the tale of the tape,” said a giggling Pacquiao, who was measured at 5-6 flat and weighed in at 151 lbs, just three lbs above his fighting weight.
The shortest player to see action in the OBA was Billy Abarrientos, who stood at 5-5 flat when he played for Crispa in the 1970s, making Pacquiao one of the shortest ever.
Pacquiao will officially be the fourth shortest after Abarrientos, Boyet Bautista (5-5 ¾) and Al Vergara (5-5 5/8).
Pacquiao’s wingspan was also measured at 69 inches and the 35-year-old fighting congressman appeared in a jolly mood as he looks forward to his entry into pro basketball.
After the short rites, Pacquiao and Salud entertained a few questions in relation to his PBA stint as well as his upcoming defense of the world welterweight title against Chris Algieri on Nov. 23 in Macau.
Pacquiao said everything is all set for his training camp and he is not at all concerned with the prospect of facing somebody like Algieri, a 30-year-old New York native who is being groomed for stardom at his expense.
“I have fought a lot of great fighters and I am not worried about him being unbeaten,” said Pacquiao, who has a 56-5-2 record with 38 KOs.
Algieri, who sports a 20-0-0 win-loss mark with eight KOs, earned the right to face the Filipino icon following his 12-round split decision over one-time sparmate Ruslan Provodnikov of Russia last June.
Meanwhile, Pacquiao won’t be present when the PBA holds its draft on Sunday afternoon as he is set to fly to Beijing tomorrow to get ready for the start of a 27,000-mile promotional tour.
The first leg of the publicity tour will be Macau where a press conference will be held on Monday afternoon at The Venetian. The next stops will be Shanghai, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and New York City.