Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Repost From Ion Danker

Pacquiao’s precious words of wisdom

By Ion Danker – August 21st, 2010
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World boxing champion Manny Pacquiao on Yahoo! SEA. (Getty Images)

Arguably the world’s best boxer and Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao had these words for aspiring young athletes: Focus, love your sport, train hard and don’t forget to pray.

The 31-year-old “Pacman”, as he is more popularly known, dispensed these words of wisdom during a visit to the Vanda Boxing Club on Havelock Road on Friday morning.

Pacquiao is the current WBO world welterweight champion and he is the first boxer in history to win seven world titles across seven weight categories.

Widely recognised as the world’s best “pound-for-pound” boxer, the Filipino multi-millionaire also revealed how Singapore can produce a boxing champion of its own.

He told Yahoo! Singapore, “Singapore should organise weekly boxing matches, like every Sunday, and this is where you can develop and find good fighters.”

Having started boxing at the age of 13, Pacquiao – who was forced to abandon elementary school because his family was too poor – 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.”

In town for the first time at the invitation of the Singapore Tourism Board, the soft-spoken and affable boxing icon won the hearts of fans and athletes alike when the took the time to sign autographs and pose for the photos.

16-year-old Irish boxer Joe Ward, who’s in town for the Youth Olympic Games , said it was a dream come true to meet his hero.

“I never imagined I would be meeting Manny in Singapore, it’s really awesome to be here with him.”

His compatriot, Ryan Burnett, 18, hopes to use some of Manny’s moves in the ring: ”I’ve been watching him on TV, and hopefully I can fight like him in the YOG.”

Pacquiao, who was recently elected Congressman for the province of Sarangani in the recent Philippine national elections, also said 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.

Has running for Presidency in the Philippines ever crossed his mind?

“I never thought about it because my mind now is to serve the people and help them, and also to be a champion in public service,” said the father of four.

However, fans need not be disappointed just yet.

Listed by Forbes magazine as the world’s sixth highest-paid athlete with a total annual income of S$54 million, Pacquiao is due to return to the ring in November to take on Mexican Antonio Margarito for the World Boxing Council super-weight title.

Watch how the fearsome ”Pacman” retained his WBO World Welterweight title earlier this year by crushing Ghana’s Joshua Clottey.

Turning his thoughts over the possibility of a much-anticipated fight with unbeaten American Floyd Mayweather Jr, Pacman said, “I don’t think he wants to fight and I am not sure why he doesn’t want to fight.”

The boxers were initially scheduled to clash in March but the bout was called off after disagreements over Olympic-style drug tests.

However that has since been resolved and Pacquiao’s camp is still awaiting a response from Mayweather on when and where they can fight.

Pacman shares his thoughts on the much awaited fight.

The Today newspaper reports that if the mega-fight does go ahead, Singapore could be the host of potentially boxing’s richest-ever fight, with each boxer expected to earn at least S$80 million each in purse money.

“I want to fight Mayweather because people are excited about it. I will ask (promoter) Bob Arum if this is the match that can be staged here,” he told the paper.

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Reposted From Ion Danker

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