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Pacquiao can unite the whole of Asia as well


PhilBoxing.com




From the time Pacquiao knocked out Lehlohonolo Ledwaba in the sixth round to bring the International Boxing Federation super-bantamweight crown to the Philippine shore in 2001, Filipino ring superstar Manny Pacquiao has, almost always, held the country at a standstill in the many encounters he sees action against the best the prizefighting profession can offer.

Pacquiao fought 33 more times following his super-bantamweight title conquest, winning 29 and losing five, one by knockout, but the Filipinos – 100 million as of last count, plus 12 million more working overseas – continue following him, celebrating with him in his victories and crying over his losses.

Streets in Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao virtually stopped with only a few taking to the roads only in cases of emergencies like not obtaining days off from their works or looking or restaurants, theaters to watch his fights.

Government troops and rebels go on undeclared ceasefire with many from the mountains trekking down the lowlands and join the erstwhile enemies in public gymnasiums, open town plazas or improvised auditoriums where Pacquiao’s fights are shown.

A rare display of unity where all of the country’s 17 presidents that alternately took turns in making the archipelago of 7,107 islands lying across the Western Pacific Ocean one didn’t succeed.

One man though -- boxer Manny Pacquiao – has succeeded in holding the entire nation spellbound whenever and wherever he fights for the past one and-a-half decades.

Don’t look now but if the now senator’s plans push through, he could, likewise, make the whole of Asia, which comprises two-thirds of the world population, unite as one through the sport he loves most that earned for himself and the country worldwide fame and respect.

Through the boxing promotion bearing his name, the Pacman is embarking on ambitious, gigantic project of promoting world title fights involving Asian fighters in the hope making them follow in his footsteps and bring he region on top of the boxing world.

“Right now, we have in our midst many Asian talents – Filipinos, Chinese, Indonesians, Thais, even those from the Middle East and Cenral Asia – who are capable of winning world championships but are not given chance to fulfil their dreams,” the “Fighter of the Decade” honoree of the Boxing Writers of America revealed.

“Tutulungan natin sila na matupad ang kanilang mga pangarap sa pamamagitan ng MP Promotions. We will give them world title fights through the regular boxing shows we plan to put up,” he told this writer in a brief talk following a press conference announcing his coming duel with Argentine Lucas Matthysse Wednesday at the posh City of Dreams Hotel.

“Not only that, if we succeed in our advocacy, we will also be helping Asian countries develop and improve their relations with one another. Maganda, di ba? Wala nang giyera. Kung gusto nila giyera sa ibabaw ng ring na lang,” Pacquiao said jestingly.

For a start, MP promotions as inserted in the Pacquiao-Matthysse undercards three world title fights featuring two Filipino fighters, a Chinese, a Pakistani, one from Kazakhstan and another from Venezuela.

Dubbed as the “Fight of Champions,” Pacquiao, now a challenger, and the defending World Boxing Asssociation welterweight belt-owner Matthysse collide on July 14 (July 15 in Manila) for the latter’s crown at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur.

Photo: L-R: Manny Pacquiao, Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez and Lucas Matthysse pose during Wednesday's press conference at the City of Dreams Manila. Photo by Wendell Alinea.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.


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