WBO welterweight beltholder Manny Pacquiao, musician Erykah Badu, director Martin Scorsese and others are part of Hennessy’s “Wild Rabbit” promotion that trumpets reaching “new and greater levels of achievement.”
The campaign, which company vice president Rodney Williams says “redefines what it means to be a luxury brand,” has produced a video alluding to Pacquiao’s rise from being a poor youth in the Philippines’ streets to becoming an eight-division titlewinner and congressman in his native Sarangani Province. The “wild rabbit” that consumers are encouraged to follow represents an individual’s ultimate dream of success.
“At the genesis of this deal, they wanted to come out and to find the perfect brand ambassador for their company’s campaign that was all about never stopping and never settling. They wanted that athlete who did a lot more than just excelled in his sports field. They wanted an athlete who did a million other things, and obviously, Manny Pacquiao’s that guy,” said Lucia McKelvey, executive vice president at Top Rank Boxing and Pacquiao’s deal agent.
“Manny Pacquiao has gone from rags to richess, to through his boxing career, to being a congressman and arguably his country’s next president. He identified well with the brand of Hennessy, which has grown, and grown, and grown and never wants to stop growing. In tandem, they’ve held hands and they’re growing together. Chasing a wild rabbit is about chasing your dreams and never stopping and never settling.”
In Los Angeles, interactive videos of Pacquiao and Badu were projected onto the sides of buildings at the iconic Hollywood and Vine intersection, while drinks inspired by each celebrity were offered. A similar installation will be staged in New York on April 5.
Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 knockouts) takes a 15-bout winning streak that includes eight knockouts in to the June 9 defense of his belt against WBO junior welterweight titleholder Tim Bradley that will be televised on HBO Pay Per View from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
SAUL ALVAREZ TO BE FEATURED ON HBO
WBC junior middleweight beltholder Saul Alvarez, of Mexico, will be profiled on HBO’s all-new “Portrait of a Fighter: Canelo Alvarez,” in advance of his defense against Shane Mosley on May 5 from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Alvarez’s story will be told over the span of 13 minutes on April 12 at 9:15 p.m. ET/PT as the debut of a new feature designed to strengthen the viewer’s connection to prizefighters and to explore an aspect of a fighter’s backstory that is not typically well known by boxing fans.
Air times on HBO include: April 16 at 9:45 a.m., April 17 at midnight, April 19 at 2:50 a.m., April 25 at 8:15 p.m., April 27 at 4:45 p.m., and April 29 at 12:45 p.m.
HBO2 air times are April 29 at 9:45 p.m., and April 30 at 3:50 p.m. All times are ET/PT. The broadcast will also be available on HBO ON DEMAND and HBO GO.
NEW YORK BOXING HALL OF FAME HONORS INAGURAL INDUCTEES
Former champions Jake LaMotta, Mike McCallum, Emile Griffith, Carlos Ortiz, and Vito Antuofermo were all in attendance before a sold-out crowd of 500 at this past Sunday’s inaugural New York State Boxing Hall of Fame (NYSBHOF) induction dinner that was sponsored by Ring 8 at Russo’s On The Bay in Howard Beach, New York.
Among the inductees were LaMotta, McCallum, Griffith, Ortiz, Antuofermo, Mike Tyson, “Sugar” Ray Robinson, Carmen Basilio and Riddick Bowe, with posthumous inductions for Gene Tunney, Benny Leonard and Tony Canzoneri.
“Boxing in New York will not be forgotten,” said Tony Mazzarella, founder of the NYSBHOF. “Boxers, cornermen, judges, promoters, announcers and others in boxing are being honored.”
Non-participant inductees were HBO ringside judge/analyst Harold Lederman, coach/instructor Steve Acunto, trainer/cutman Jimmy Glenn and, posthumously, trainers Gil Clancy and Ray Arcel, RING Magazine founder Nat Fleischer, New York Daily News boxing reporter/cartoonist Bill Gallo and referee Arthur Mercante, Sr.
The families of Robinson, Canzoneri, Tunney, Arcel, Gallo and Mercante were also represented.
“We’re all proud of those sitting on the dais for their achievements,” said Bobby Duffy, NYSBHOF and Ring 8 president. “The biggest joy, for me, is for what Mrs. Arcel, Mrs. Gallo and the members of the Canzoneri, Tunney, Mercante, and Clancy families said to me. They left a track record, like those sitting up here, but they’re so happy that their inductees were not forgotten.”
GOLDEN GLOVES COME TO BARCLAYS CENTER
The Daily News Golden Gloves, the nation’s largest and most prestigious amateur boxing tournament, will relocate to Barclays Center, a new state-of-the-art arena in Brooklyn, when it holds its 86th anniversary, two-day finals event in April 2013.
The Golden Gloves has produced fighters such as Emile Griffith, Jose Torres, Floyd Paterson, Howard Davis, and Brooklyn natives Riddick Bowe and Mark Breland.
Golden Boy Promotions has signed an exclusive deal with the Barclay Center, and has targeted October 20 as an opening date for a series of regular boxing events at the arena.
“The Golden Gloves will be the lynchpin of our grass-roots boxing program at Barclays Center,” said Brett Yormark, CEO of Barclays Center.
“While Golden Boy Promotions will bring the best of professional boxing back to Brooklyn, we are excited to host such a New York institution as the Daily News Golden Gloves. There’s a rich heritage of boxing in Brooklyn and we are thrilled to make the sport a major part of our new arena.”
Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Photos by Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos-Golden Boy Promotions
Photo by Michael Buffer
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com