Filipino WBA Featherweight King Manny Pacquiao, a farmer's son who ran away from the fields when he was 12 to pursue his dream to be a champion boxer, once again invades the international scene and vows to fight intensely hard, more than ready to face the "Fight of the Year " this Saturday ,March 19, 2005 at the MGM Las Vegas, against Erik Morales.
In his younger years, Pacquiao left his hometown fields in General Santos City, and against his mother's best wishes-worried about her son-pursued boxing. But Manny Pacquiao, in his heart, has never left the place where he was born. From the colors of his mouthpiece, to a Filipino Flag flying in Freddie Roach's Wildcard Boxing Gym in Hollywood, California, he carries a piece of the island nation with him wherever he goes. Wherever he goes!
"My countrymen are praying for me", Pacquiao told Filipino television reporters while working out in Los Angeles last week.
Filipinos are doing more than just praying for Manny. They are pouring into the United States Embassy in Manila to get tourist visas to come to the fight. Richard M. Wilner is responsible for procuring many of the tourist visas.
"Having dealt with consulates throughout the world, and being no stranger to the U.S. Embassy in Manila, I was extremely pleased that our applications for tourist visas met with about a 98% success rate. The embassy staff was, courteous, responsive and they too are routing for Manny!"
Wilner also commented about recent press in the community surrounding Manny Pacquiao pertaining to persons from the Philippines who opt to pursue lawful permanent residence in the United States. "To suggest that one who pursues a green card in the United States is somehow 'trading' the Philippines for the United States is ignorant at best. Such comments demonstrate a complete misunderstanding of the Filipino culture both here and in the Philippines." "I represent people from all over the world. Top fighters, entertainers and just plain people. I can honestly say that Filipinos, no matter where they are, are the most patriotic people that I've ever met." In fact, "most Filipinos in the United States want to get green cards here so they can go home."
Carrying his torch to win for the Filipinos, Pacquiao will soon show his skills in the ring with "El Terrible", Erik Morales. Everyone expects a last-man standing slugfest between the bigger hard-punching Morales, (47-2, 34 Kos), and Pacquiao (39-2, 31 KO's), with a reputation as a destroyer. The fight should sell-out the 14,500 MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas.
Pacquiao confirms appointing the law offices of Wilner & O'Reilly as his immigration counsel. Wilner and Reilly take pride in accepting the appointment, ably supporting Filipinos in their undertakings. Manny joins the ranks of other Wilner & O'Reilly celebrity clients such as Ai-Ai, Jaya, Randy Santiago and world famous fighters such as Carlos Gracie, Jr.
Whether famous or not, there is one thing that all Wilner & O'Reilly clients have in common: the utmost trust and faith in their attorneys. And, there is one thing that Wilner & O'Reilly share in common with their clients: Pacquiao to win!