Young Filipinos box clever to emulate Pacquiao

admin   •   June 11, 2015   •   1708

Boxer Manny Pacquiao waves to the crowds during a motorcade in Manila May 13, 2015, after arrving from Las Vegas. REUTERS/ROMEO RANOCO

Boxer Manny Pacquiao waves to the crowds during a motorcade in Manila May 13, 2015, after arrving from Las Vegas.
REUTERS/ROMEO RANOCO

Ed Picson can justifiably feel proud of his work at the Southeast Asian Games this week after the executive director of the Philippines amateur boxing board witnessed his 10-strong team of fighters all take home medals from Singapore.

Tasked with finding the archipelago’s generation next, Picson was brimming with pride as his country’s boxers cut a swathe through the region’s best pugilists to top the medal table with five golds, three silvers and two bronzes.

“I am very happy with our performance this week,” a beaming Picson told Reuters in the shadow of the Expo Hall grandstand where his nation’s fans cheered on their favorite fighters.

“We brought 10 boxers here, mandated by the rules, that is six men and four women. Eight of them reached finals and the two that didn’t will go home with bronze medals, so we couldn’t ask for more.

“The SEA Games is very crucial when you experience the groundswell of support for athletes in this regional competition and it gives you a sense of being on the international stage,” he added.

“It’s very important for them to be exposed … to be in such competitions with a high profile so that when we are in the bigger tournaments ahead they won’t feel so anxious.”

The name Manny Pacquiao is synonymous with boxing in the Philippines, the eight-weight division world champion having shaped the landscape of the sport in the country for almost two decades.

Picson believes it is a positive influence.

“Manny Pacquiao inspires everybody in the Philippines, especially boxers,” he said.

“He’s a member of our board, by the way, a director of the ABAP. He’s very supportive, he talks about the boxers and talks to them whenever there’s an opportunity and obviously the boys and girls look up to him.

“They are very proud that when we are in far flung countries like Uzbekistan or Mongolia and when they see us wearing Philippine jackets or shirts, invariably they address us as ‘Pacquiao’.

“Yes, they are big shoes to fill but we’re proud of the association and we would like to be able to show him that he has inspired our boxers.”

CREATING NAMES

One such boxer inspired by Pacquiao was welterweight gold medalist Eumir Felix Marcial, a junior world champion from 2011, who claimed a knockout victory with a devastating left hook to the jaw of Singapore’s Jie Wei Tay in their bout.

The 19-year-old looks every inch a world class boxer in the making, his excellent ringcraft, balanced footwork, devastating power and southpaw stance ensuring he emulates his “idol” in more ways than simply their shared nationality.

“We are hoping our fighters can step up and create names for themselves in the international arena. This group we have is a very potent one,” Picson added.

“Our average age is 23 and that includes three who are 28 or 29. But it is the young ones we are banking on to make a splash on the international scene. We are very optimistic and Marcial is one of those we expect a lot from.”

Picson remains confident boxing in his homeland can withstand the rising popularity of mixed martial arts, believing those who start off in his sport tend to remain loyal.

“Boxing has been ingrained in the Filipino mindset for decades or maybe even centuries,” he said.

“It has always been a sport Filipinos love and I don’t think that the rise of MMA will affect it. As a general rule, people will start with boxing and hopefully, most of those who start with the sport will continue.”

Picson hopes that the SEA Games success will now give his young fighters a platform to move on to bigger and better things but admits it can sometimes be difficult for up-and-coming athletes in the Philippines to gain recognition.

“Aside from Pacquiao, it’s sad to say that other world ranked boxers did not get the attention they deserve. Hopefully, that will change because the usual process is ‘win first then we support you’ but I think that is a backwards way of doing it,” he added.

“You need to support those who are on the way up not those who are already there because they don’t need it.”

(Editing by Nick Mulvenney)

Pacquiao advises Faeldon to take leave as BuCor chief

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 4, 2019

Senator Manny Pacquiao (left) and BuCor Chief Nicanor Faeldon (right)

Senator Manny Pacquiao has advised Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Chief Nicanor Faeldon to take a leave-of-absence while facing investigation.

In a statement, Pacquiao said he believes in the integrity and honesty of Faeldon but the investigation on the alleged abuse of the Republic Act 10592 or the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law needs Faeldon’s “full and undivided attention.”

“I know that Undersecretary Faeldon is a good man and has served his country well but I really think that he can spare the president and this administration from embarrassment by taking a leave-of-absence,” he said.

READ: Faeldon admits signing ‘memorandum’ not release order for Antonio Sanchez

The Senate Blue Ribbon committee will continue the investigation on Thursday (September 5) on the said issue.

Meanwhile, Malacañang said Faeldon’s fate lies in President Rodrigo Duterte’s hands.

“That’s for the president to decide. I talked with him yesterday, and that’s what he told me: ‘There is an ongoing investigation and I’ll wait for the investigation,’” said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

Faeldon had previously said he will not resign as BuCor chief amid the controversy.—AAC (with reports from Grace Casin)

Palace: Pacquiao embodies Filipino spirit

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 21, 2019

Philippine boxing legend, Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao | Courtesy: Reuters

Malacañang congratulates Senator Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao for defending his WBA welterweight belt against Keith Thurman on Sunday (July 21).

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Pacquiao made the whole country proud. Pacquiao won in a split decision and knocked down Thurman in the first round.

“Pacquiao’s victory is not only his, but of the entire nation. As such, the Palace is one in rejoicing with the Filipino people as the Pambansang Kamao once again puts the flag above the pedestal with his display of tenacity and courage,” he said.

Meanwhile other lawmakers have sent their congratulations to the Pambansang Kamao.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) also joins the Filipino people in celebrating Pacquiao’s victory.

“We share the triumph of our People’s Champ with every Filipino who cheered and pray for this latest honor for the country,” according to their statement. “Senator Pacquiao not only brought honor and glory to the country but also inspired many Filipinos to excel in their work.”—AAC (With reports from Lea Ylagan, Rosalie Coz, Harlene Delgado, Grace Casin)

Pacquiao likely to retire after one more fight next year

admin   •   October 7, 2015

Boxer Manny Pacquiao poses for the members of the media upon his arrival at the international airport in Manila May 13, 2015. REUTERS/ROMEO RANOCO

Boxer Manny Pacquiao poses for the members of the media upon his arrival at the international airport in Manila May 13, 2015.
REUTERS/ROMEO RANOCO

Filipino boxing great Manny Pacquiao, a winner of world titles in eight different weight categories, said he is likely to retire from the sport after one more fight next year.

Pacquiao, 36, last fought in May when he lost to American Floyd Mayweather Junior in a long awaited bout between the sport’s best two fighters, dubbed the Fight of the Century, that failed to match the hype.

Pacquiao underwent surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff after the fight and had been expected to retire with little left to prove after achieving his long-stated goal of getting in the ring with Mayweather.

“I think I’m ready. I’ve been in boxing for more than 20 years,” he said in an interview with ABS-CBN on Wednesday.

The Filipino said he wanted one more bout but it is unlikely to be against Mayweather, who has announced plans to retire after beating Andre Berto in September to improve his record to 49 wins and no losses.

“We can not say if there is a rematch or not. It depends, it depends,” Pacquiao said.

Pacquiao’s long-term manager Bob Arum said last month he expected Pacquiao to fight again in February, with Briton Amir Khan and American Terence Crawford among the possible opponents.

The Filipino southpaw, who boasts a fight record of 57 wins, six losses and two draws, said he wanted to focus more on his political career.

Pacquiao is already a member of the country’s lower house of representatives and announced plans on Monday to run for a seat in the senate next year.

(Writing by Patrick Johnston in Singapore; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

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