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San Francisco Chronicle pays heavy attention to Pacquiao visit

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Manny Pacquiao actually visited the San Francisco Chronicle last Thursday, which generated not one but two sizeable articles in San Francisco’s major daily newspaper.

Pacquiao and Chris Algieri are making a tour to promote their Nov. 22 bout in Macau, and it has largely resembled the tours for most of Pacquiao’s fights the past six years, including their visit Friday to the San Francisco Giants’ baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers. But the trip to the Chronicle created an unusual publicity coup for the Filipino fighter.

It wasn’t that surprising to see the Friday story by Vic Tafur, which said the likelihood of a Pacquiao bout with Floyd Mayweather is greater in 2015 than it’s ever been before. That story ran on the front page of the sports section, and readers were directed there by a photograph on the front page of the paper.

But the Sunday spread in the Chronicle’s Insight section was a surprise. It consisted of a long story by editorial page editor John Diaz about how Pacquiao’s visit wowed hardened newsmen, certainly more so than visits by actor/governor Arnold Schwarzenegger , whom Diaz said “could only dream of commanding such attention.” There was also a tint box describing five elements – boxing, politics, entertainment, basketball and business – that enable Pacman to “ply his many talents.” Although Diaz was writing mainly about the issue of pugilistic dementia, which Pacquiao was reluctant to address, it still amounted to effective public relations for Bob Arum’s Top Rank Boxing.

I’d like to be able to say I had anything to do with that coup. I’ve managed to get several of Nonito Donaire’s and Robert Guerrero’s fights coverage in the Chronicle they would not otherwise have received. As for the Pacquiao visit, however, alas, I wasn’t even there.

I have worked as a copy editor at the Chronicle for three or four months each of the past three years, and it appears I’ll be back in a week or two for a fourth stretch. But I wasn’t on the payroll Thursday, so I wasn’t on the premises, and look what a payoff I missed.