I decided to try getting Manny Pacquiao's autograph today at Wild Card Boxing Club which is run by his trainer Freddie Roach in LA. Manny arrived in LA last weekend to train for his upcoming fight against Timothy Bradley on June 9, 2012. From fellow graphers who have succeeded in graphing Manny in the past I heard that the gym is the way to go and to catch him on the way out. I was hoping i'd at least get Freddie Roach's autograph today since I heard he is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet so I wouldn't completely strike out.
I drove out to Wild Card Boxing Club with my friend Joseph. There were about 20 fans waiting for Manny outside Wild Card and there were a ton of Manny's entourage hanging out. Joseph was shocked to see the low turnout. He was successful in getting Manny's autograph twice last year and he noted that normally there are about 150-200 fans waiting to get his autograph.
When we arrived I noticed that there was a black Rolls Royce Phantom on the parking lot. I thought it belonged to Manny but it ended up belonging to the rapper Won-G http://won-g.com/blog/?p=4030 who was an invited guest of Manny Pacquiao. Generally there are a lot of celebrities who visit Manny when he is in town. Last year Mark Wahlberg and even Kobe showed up to watch Manny train. Won-G was signing his CD for a few fans that were there. I never even heard of this guy and since I didn't have anything for him to sign I didn't bother getting his autograph.
While we were waiting for Manny I noticed that the Thai restaurant next door was transporting food into Manny's Tattoo Parlor/Gift Shop next door. Manny finished training for the day and headed straight into the gift shop where he met up with Won-G inside to eat dinner.
While we were waiting outside for Manny, Freddie Roach drove out of the plaza and waved to all the fans. Sadly I didn't get a chance to get Freddie Roach's autograph today so I was hoping i'd get Manny so the day wouldn't be a complete shut out. Manny was eating and chatting it up for about an hour and he finally walked out. There was utter chaos as fans tried to bum rush him for his autograph. Considering the low turnout I was surprised by their behavior. His security and handlers quickly escorted Manny into his car and I thought my chances were over today. Fortunately Manny did sign for us through his card window as his handlers would take each item for fans so that Manny could sign for us. Here are some pictures I managed to get during the chaos. I was a bit annoyed and surprised that one fan tried to get a photo op for his infant son in this chaotic atmosphere. That ended up costing someone getting Manny's auto since he didn't sign for all of the fans. Most people got Manny today but a few left empty handed. Luckily Joseph and I were able to get both our gloves signed by Manny.
I want to thank Manny Pacquiao for signing my gloves for me today.