Daily Archives: October 3, 2008

Pacquiao, De La Hoya take Lady Liberty by storm

by Momar Visaya/AJPress

NEW YORK – In a historic first, boxing superstars Manny Pacquiao and Oscar de la Hoya took the city by storm and appeared at the Statue of Liberty Wednesday, October 1, to promote their mega-fight: The Dream Match-De La Hoya Vs Pacquiao.

The press conference was the first of a series of events that organizers have planned to promote the epic match. The unprecedented presscon is the first ever staged on the historic Liberty Island, home to the iconic Statue of Liberty, America’s most famous landmark.

Pacquiao and De La Hoya are two of the biggest attractions in the world of boxing and their much-awaited match-up is something that aficionados have been waiting for. De La Hoya, the Olympic gold medalist and 10-time world champion will meet Ring Magazine’s current No. 1-ranked pound for pound champion, Manny Pacquiao on Saturday, December 6 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The fight, touted as the grand finale of the 2008 boxing calendar year, sold out in hours and established a live gate of nearly $17 million, making it the second largest grossing gate in boxing history after the De La Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather fight held in May 2007 which featured a record-breaking $19 million gate.

“This is the biggest fight of my career and I am looking forward to this match because I know that De La Hoya is also an exciting player. I will do my best to bring honor and glory to my country, the Philippines and my fellow Filipinos around the world,” Pacquiao said after the presscon, as he signed autographs on shirts, boxing gloves, tickets to Liberty Island, even press Ids and posters.

For De La Hoya, it is not just about regaining old glory, it is about fighting the best and winning. “Manny Pacquiao is considered as the best fighter in boxing today and I always want to fight the best. They say I am old and I can’t fight him. I am challenged by that. I am 35 but that is not old,” De La Hoya told the Asian Journal on the way back to Manhattan via a ferry to Liberty.

Pacquiao, who won world titles at flyweight (112 lbs), super-bantam (122 lbs), super-feather (130 lbs) and lightweight (135 lbs) will be fighting for the first time at welterweight (147 lbs). Some consider him as the underdog because at 5’10.5″, De La Hoya is four inches taller than Pacquiao and his reach is 72 inches against Pacquiao‘s 67.

Though not a title fight, a welterweight victory over De La Hoya in the same year he held his previous titles would be equivalent to Henry Armstrong’s historic year of 1938 when he simultaneously held the featherweight, lightweight and welterweight titles.

“We all know about the battle between David and Goliath and who won in the end, right?” Bob Arum, Top Rank’s top man said, much to the cheers and screams of the predominantly Filipino fans who trooped to the Statue of Liberty to see the presscon. Pacquiao said that he gets inspired by the support of fans wherever he goes.

“When I take that walk to the ring to fight Oscar, I will carry all the people of the Philippines on my shoulders. I promise I will fight with all my heart and that I will give everything I have. Like my trainer Freddie Roach says, I have what it takes to win the biggest fight of my life,” he said. For De La Hoya, he shared that he is excited and can’t wait for December 6 to arrive. “I am glad that we were able to make this fight happen because while Pacquiao is at the pinnacle of his success and has defeated all of the top fighters he has faced, I am going to show the world that it stops with me,” he said.

Team Pacquiao and Team De La Hoya, together with their promoters, Top Rank, Inc. and Golden Boy Promotions will also travel to Chicago, Houston, San Antonio, San Francisco and Los Angeles to promote the match. The last stop will be where the Golden Boy grew up—Whittier Boulevard Arch in East LA on October 7.

(www.asianjournal.com)

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Over 400 people in NorCal captured in ICE raids

by  Malou Liwanag-Aguilar/AJPress

SAN FRANCISCO – The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently reported that about one in every five undocumented immigrants now facing deportation captured in raids in Northern California have criminal records.

More than 1,150 people were taken into custody over the last three weeks, with the detainment and pending deportation of more than 430. Less than half of the detainees from Northern California are considered fugitives for failing to show up at earlier immigration hearings.

According to Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary Julie Myers, ICE is committed to enforcing these deportation orders. ICE raids have been strongly criticized by immigrants’ advocates, stating that the approach hurts families.

In a report by the Associated Press, those arrested were from 34 countries. The raids ended last Saturday, September 27. Aside from the more than 430 arrests in NorCal, ICE also made 420 arrests in the Los Angeles area and 301 in the San Diego area.

Immigration officials have increased enforcement at factories, offices and homes in recent year, targeting illegal immigrants who have ignored and avoided deportations orders.  (www.asianjournal.com)

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Villaraigosa unveils cornerstone of “Housing that Works” for all Angelenos

by Rene Villaroman/AJPress

LOS ANGELES – Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Monday, September 29, unveiled “Housing That Works,” a five-year, $5 billion plan to build 20,000 affordable housing units and make Los Angeles a more affordable place of middle class families to live and work. “This city’s economic success and vitality depend on our ability to plan for a future of sustainability in our housing market,” Mayor Villaraigosa said. “This plan lays the building blocks of housing our middle class can afford and takes the first steps toward building ‘housing that works’ for all Angelenos.”

“Housing That Works” represents the first time that all housing and planning departments are coming together in a coordinated effort, with one strategy to invest in affordable housing. This coordinated effort will bring a new level of transparency and stability to the City’s housing investment strategy, which will allow it to leverage $1 billion in public funds into a $5 billion investment in affordable housing throughout local neighborhoods.

The Mayor’s Office will coordinate resources from different departments and develop public/private partnerships to reach the $5 billion goal. The $700 million investment from Enterprise Community Partners announced on Monday, September 29, is a testament to this new strategy.

“Mayor Villaraigosa has presented a far-sighted vision addressing the need for affordable housing in the City of Los Angeles. Enterprise is pleased to step forward as an early and major partner in this effort to create fit, affordable and sustainable homes for all residents of the City,” said Doris Koo, president and CEO of Enterprise Community Partners.

“Our pledge of $700 million reflects our commitment to focus Enterprise’s energy and resources into making the City of Los Angeles a vibrant and thriving community,” Koo continued.

Using the funding from this capital campaign, Villaraigosa’s plan pledges to build and preserve 20,000 affordable homes in areas that make the most sense – double the number of units constructed since the beginning of the Mayor’s time in office. This includes implementing a mixed-income housing ordinance that requires the City’s largest developers to offer units at prices LA’s workforce can afford.

I addition, this initiative will create 20 sustainable transit communities focusing new developments in the areas where it makes the most sense – along public transit corridors and close to job centers.

Another key component of the project involves shifting the City’s strategy from managing homelessness to moving people out of it. The plan funds 2,200 permanent supportive housing units—where homeless men and women are connected to social services—and expands Section 8 voucher programs for the chronically homeless. It also puts the pieces in place to complete the redevelopment of Jordan Downs and transform L.A.’s public housing sites into vibrant, mixed-income communities.

The final part of Mayor Villaraigosa’s plan will protect LA’s homes and neighborhoods by addressing the foreclosure crisis through the Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative; preserving the affordability of 14,000 rental units; and educating Angelenos about their rights as landlords and tenants.

Housing in Los Angeles remains unaffordable and out of reach for too many middle class families. In 2007, more than 5,200 LA families lost their homes to foreclosure—and that number is expected to rise to 10,000 by the end of 2008. At the same time, parents are spending more than half of their incomes on housing; only 11 per cent of the area’s households can afford a median-priced home; and approximately 40,000 people sleep on the streets of the City at night.

“Housing That Works” takes the first steps in the City’s effort to address these challenges, reverse the negative trends of recent years, and bridge the ever-growing gap between the housing LA produces and the housing it needs.  (www.asianjournal.com)

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