Thursday, June 11, 2009 | 2 p.m.
The half-Filipino lead vocalist for the American pop group Pussycat Dolls says she wants to sing the Philippine national anthem when boxing champion Manny Pacquiao fights again.
U.S.-born Nicole Scherzinger, who is performing with three other members of the band in Manila on Thursday, told ABS-CBN television she has always been a fan of the Filipino boxer.
Junior welterweight champion Pacquiao hand-picks the singer of the national anthem at his bouts. After his latest match with Ricky Hatton in Las Vegas in May, Filipino singer Martin Nievera was criticized in the media for altering the 1898 revolutionary anthem, which by law must be played at a marching tempo.
While Pacquiao has not announced whom he will fight next, or who will sing the anthem, the fight will likely be in Las Vegas. His last five bouts have taken place at either the MGM Grand or Mandalay Bay.
Last week, Shane Mosley said he was close to signing a deal to fight Pacquiao in the fall. The next day Pacquaio refuted the rumors and said he's keeping all his options open. There is some interest that Pacquiao will wait and see who wins this weekend's Miguel Cotto and Joshua Clottey contest. But also a megafight with former pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. looms. Mayweather must first get past Juan Manuel Marquez on July 18 at the MGM Grand.