Manny Pacquiao, who has taken part in numerous community efforts in his dual role as star boxer and elected government official, is reaching out to make an impact on his country’s status as an international boxing center, with a focus on the amateur ranks.
The plan from Pacquiao and those involved with him is to launch a series of matches with a national scope, as a vehicle through which to develop talent that has the ability to compete on an international level. This is an ambitious project to make Filipinos much more relevant when it comes to the signature tournaments in amateur boxing, as it seeks to create a signature tournament in and of itself within the country.
The matches, which are slated to take place every month, will take place in Manila, but the intention is to find competitors as well from other areas of the country and give them the chance to show their wares as a way of developing future amateur champions from the Philippines who might even be able to compete on an Olympic level. The rules as set forth by the AIBA, which governs and oversees international amateur boxing competition, may have changed, but there is still hope for youngsters to come from virtually nowhere and compete for international glory.
Like other events Pacquiao has lent his support to, this one will also carry his name, so they will be known as the “Manny Pacquiao National Boxing Championships.” There will be eight teams that will come from different areas of the country, and eight different weight categories will be covered. The bouts will go six or eight rounds, and that is one of the new changes with the AIBA, which has extended the number of rounds and made provisions for professionals to become involved in international bouts.
The winners in this competition will receive trophies and cash grants that are worth P100,000 a piece. Again, such a thing is allowable under amateur rules. This is designed with emerging talent in mind, as boxers cannot have been victorious in a previous national, regional or world tournament.
He won’t just be an absentee promoter either. Pacquiao will also lend his “face” to the events. This package, which has been put together in conjunction with one of the former champion’s very close associates, Raymundo de Guzman, will be aired nationally on television via the GMA network, and Pacquiao himself will function as the on-air host. That gives an awful lot of leverage to the telecasts. As for the site at which the fights will take place, negotiations are also reportedly underway with the Solaire Resort & Casino, formerly known as the Solaire Manila, which is a world-class resort destination located in Paranaque City. Those negotiations are moving swiftly, as the shows are set to begin by the end of next month.
As most people are well aware, Pacquiao has a very busy schedule as it is. He is set to fight Brandon Rios in November, and that will take place in Macau, the Chinese gambling destination. So he will be in the process of training for that encounter while some of this action is going forward.