LOS ANGELES -- It was a fun day today at the Palazzo. But then again that is a day to day happening in that place. It’s no small wonder Manny Pacquiao loves to keep the status quo in that place year in and year out. There’s just no substitute for the fun and the chaos that go with it.
Today was the day of reckoning for the almost 60 odd persons that took part in the contest.
At a little bit after 1:00 p.m., Pacquiao gave the order to bring out the “official” weigh-in scales to the open air patio of the condo to begin the final weigh-in and determine who made the challenge of losing 15% of their body weight.
Everyone who does, gets a sizzling $3000.00 prize.
With Pacquiao manning the scales himself and Joe Ramos assisting, one by one, the people stepped in on the scales.
First one on the scales was Nonoy Neri. Neri gingerly stepped on the scales much like a fighter doing a weigh-in. He barely made the 15% he needed to get. Then he quickly put on his shirt and warm up pants and headed straight to the kitchen to eat.
Buboy Fernandez was not so lucky. Hard as he tried, he still needed some 10 pounds more to reach the minimum required for him to lose.
Then the rest followed. Many were successful and others failed.
Some of those that missed the required weight by just a pound or two were given two hours to do it. Of course they hurriedly went down to the sauna room downstairs at the Palazzo gym to sweat it out. Others who were too far off simply gave up.
The fellow that lost the most weight incidentally was awarded $20,000. His name is Tim Sladek. He lost 22% of the body weight he had 4 weeks ago. He beat a couple of past winners, Mike Koncz and Alex Ariza.
Some people who have read about the contest criticize it as a “waste of resources.” But Pacquiao simply swats those arguments. As he told a media man who was there today, his aim is to give those who hang around at the Palazzo a taste of what it takes and how it feels to lose weight much like he does every fight. “I just want them to appreciate better the sacrifices I go through, but most of all," he added, "I want them all to be in good shape."
Pacquiao leaves for Dallas tomorrow afternoon after a ceremonial send off at the Wildcard Gym to attend the fight week hoopla before he stakes his WBO Welterweight crown against Joshua Clottey at the Cowboys Stadium at Arlington, Texas on Saturday, March 13th.