F Pacquiao in Singapore - Powcast Sports

Pacquiao in Singapore

source: Dante Navarro | philstar.com

SINGAPORE – He came here unannounced but Rep. Manny Pacquiao’s arrival spread like wildfire and stirred a lot of interest, particularly among boxing participants in the first Youth Olympic Games here.

“I never imagined I would be meeting Manny in Singapore, it’s really awesome to be here with him,” said Joe Ward, a 16-year-old boxer from Ireland.


“It’s a dream come true for me to meet him,” said Ward, set to square off with Damien Hooper of Australia in one of the elims matches in the 75kg late yesterday.

Ryan Burnett, another Irish fighter, said he hopes to use some of Pacquiao’s moves in the ring when he slugs it out with Vadzim Kirylenka in the 48kg division also yesterday.

“I’ve been watching him on TV, and hopefully I can fight like him in the YOG,” said Burnett.

Focus, love your sport, train hard and don’t forget to pray,” Pacquiao told the young Olympians as he obliged to sign autographs and pose for photos with his youthful fans.

Pacquiao, listed by Forbes magazine as the world’s sixth highest-paid athlete with a total annual income of $54 million, simply knows all about the challenges young fighters face today.

“When you start boxing, you must love it and know it’s for you. You also need to focus and having discipline is the most important,” said the Filipino champion.

Pacquiao is actually in town for the first time upon the invitation of the Singapore Tourism Board with the Filipino boxing legend, the first fighter to win seven world titles in seven weight divisions, taking his time to drop by the Vanda Boxing Club on Havelock Road.

He quickly advised how Singapore could produce a boxing champion of its own.

Singapore should organize weekly boxing matches, like every Sunday, and this is where you can develop and find good fighters,” said the world’s pound-for-pound king.

After three attempts, the STB succeeded in luring Pacquiao to come over to promote this island-state back home. Pacquiao will film two scenes for his television series, Show Me Da Manny, during his two-day stay here.

“This is our third attempt at bringing him in,” said Marie Li, STB’s assistant communications manager.

“We’ve been trying to get him down to help promote Singapore because of the huge interest among travelers from the Philippines but Manny has been very busy.”

As a public servant and with age slowly catching up with him, Pacquiao disclosed that he probably has only two good years left in boxing.

“I am not going to stay long in boxing because I am getting older and I’ve already fulfilled my dreams. I also have a big responsibility being a public servant so probably after two years, I will retire from boxing,” he said.

Pacquiao is actually set to fight in November although his scheduled bout with Antonio Margarito for the World Boxing Council welterweight crown remains up in the air.



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