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You've never faced anyone this big before,' I snarled. Pacquiao just stared right into my eyes

Original Source:  MAIL PIERCE MORGAN: 12 NOVEMBER 2011
Last updated at 10:13 PM on 12th November 2011

Manny Pacquiao is only 5ft 7in, but packs more muscle, power and intensity than pugilists twice his size


I’ve done some stupid things in my life, but goading Manny Pacquiao into fighting me has to rank as one of the stupidest.


The Filipino warrior has won an unprecedented eight world titles in different weights, surely making him a candidate for Best Boxer Ever.


He’s only 5ft 7in, but packs more muscle, power and intensity than pugilists twice his size.


As we clambered into the ring at his gym in West Hollywood, booted and gloved, I tried cracking a few jokes to ease the tension.


‘You’ve never faced anyone this big before,’ I fake-snarled.


Pacquiao just stared right into my eyes until I felt an ice-cold shudder fly up my spine.


‘Ding! Ding!’ said his trainer, the great Freddie Roach, with an amused grin on his face.

For the next three minutes I danced and jabbed like Ali in his prime, and never got near my opponent.

He didn’t hit me properly; he just avoided me, with the dismissiveness of a rhino dealing with an annoying gnat.

I danced and jabbed like Ali in his prime, and never got near my opponent. Pacquiao didn't hit me properly; he just avoided me

Later, I watched him spar for real with Roach, and couldn’t believe the phenomenal speed and power of his punching, with both hands.


The word genius is much overused in sport.


But Manny Pacquiao is a genius.  



I conducted a remarkably moving interview today with the mother of Jaycee Dugard, who was snatched near her Californian home by a paedophile couple when she was just 11 years old, and kept in depraved sex-slave captivity for the next 18 years – until a police breakthrough led to her discovery and release.


Jaycee bore two children by her male captor, Phillip Craig Garrido. But her mother Terry never gave up campaigning for her, constantly pressing to keep Jaycee’s face and story in the limelight, and never giving up hope that one day she would see her daughter again.


Through those long, dark, terrible years, Jaycee said she would stare at the Moon every night, and feel her mother looking down at her.

Jaycee Dugard's mother Terry never gave up campaigning for her, constantly pressing to keep her daughter's face and story in the limelight

Terry wept tonight as she relived the moment of sheer ecstasy when she finally held Jaycee in her arms again.


And in that moment, my mind flashed to Gerry and Kate McCann – still living the daily hell of not knowing what happened to their daughter Madeleine.


None of us in the British media should ever give up helping them in their search for their child, regardless of all the revolting cynicism that surrounds the case.


Because, as Jaycee Dugard and her mother will testify, miracles sometimes really do happen.




I first interviewed Condoleezza Rice for my launch week at CNN back in January, and to say it’s been a busy news year since then is a stunning understatement.


‘Dr Rice,’ I said as I began our second interview tonight, ‘since we last spoke, there have been uprisings in Egypt, Libya and most of the rest of the Middle East, Mubarak has been overthrown, Bin Laden and Gaddafi killed, a massive earthquake has struck Japan, the world’s been engulfed by another huge financial crisis, and a guy who used to sell pizzas has emerged as the front-runner to take on Barack Obama in the next election…’


She smiled. ‘It’s been an extraordinary few months, that’s for sure!’


Of all the U.S. politicians I’ve met in the past year,  I’d rate Dr Rice near the top in terms of intellect. A ferociously bright woman, she also has a warm  charm that wasn’t always obvious from her usually stern appearances as Secretary of State under President George W Bush.


Hardly surprising, then, that she attracted many male admirers.


Unfortunately, one of the most ardent turned out to be Gaddafi, who not only kept a scrapbook on his beloved Condoleezza, but also played her a video when she visited Libya that was set, with shocking  inappropriateness, to a lovey-dovey song called Black Flower In The White House...


‘I actually knew that he had this fixation on me,’ she admitted. ‘A couple of foreign ministers told me. It was weird and a bit creepy.’


‘Did he ever actually try to hit on you?’


She laughed, more in horror than hilarity. ‘NO!’


Dr Rice insists she no longer seeks high office. But I’d pay good money to one day see her take on Hillary Clinton in a battle to be the first female President.



Susan Boyle’s career remains one of the most extraordinary in modern showbiz history.

I’m sure most people assumed she’d be a one-hit wonder after the Britain’s Got Talent performances that propelled her into the global-celebrity stratosphere faster than with anyone I’ve ever seen.

But today, two-and-a-half years later, Susan’s bigger than ever, and showing no sign of going anywhere.

Tonight, she came to my CNN studio in LA to do an interview, and to perform a song from her third album.


The first two have sold 15 million copies so far, making her officially more successful in the last 24 months than Lady Gaga, Beyoncé and Rihanna. A staggering accomplishment for a 50-year-old spinster from a sleepy Scottish village who nobody had ever heard of until April, 2009.

As I watched Susan sing, I was stunned by both the range and power of her voice. So much stronger and more consistent than when I first heard her.

And there wasn’t any sign of the crippling nerves she used to suffer.

She did one take, and I fully expected her to do a second, as most performers do if they can.


But she nodded, said ‘That’ll do me’ and walked off. I laughed at her new-found confidence.

Backstage in her dressing room, we caught up over a cup of tea. Susan oozes A-list diva glamour now – from her new hairstyle to her expen- sive clothes.

‘You seem a different woman,’ I said.

‘I’m still the same,’ she chuckled. ‘I’ve just learned how to deal with the pressure better.’

‘Are you having fun?’

‘I’m loving every second, honestly. It’s beyond my wildest dreams.’

‘What’s been the ultimate pinch-me moment?’

‘Singing – twice – for the Pope was an incredible honour, but I think going on the final of China’s Got Talent was even more extraordinary. They only told me afterwards that 400 million people were watching! I’d have probably been too scared to go out if they’d told me before.’

After our interview, in which Susan revealed she’d like to ‘adopt Justin Bieber’, she raced to a limo waiting to speed her to the airport, from where she was flying first class to Australia.

‘Sydney won’t know what’s hit it!’ she chuckled.

And it won’t. There’s only one Susan Boyle, and I couldn’t be prouder of, or happier for, her.


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