Pacquiao boosts China boxing

Manny Pacquiao (AFP)
Manny Pacquiao (AFP)

Manila - Manny Pacquiao wants to open a chain of boxing academies across China to train potential world champions.

Pacquiao said in a telephone call from Shanghai on Wednesday the Chinese government would embark on the first Manny Pacquiao Boxing Education Institute in Beijing. Others would be built elsewhere in China later

"The plan is to share with them my boxing knowledge," said the 35-year-old Filipino, who holds the WBO welterweight title and has won world titles in eight weight divisions.

"With a population of 1.4 billion, they have so many boxers. So I think they would be able to produce good fighters, like world champions," he added. "The important thing is to teach them the basics."

Pacquiao was in China earlier this week as part of a global promotional tour ahead of his title defence unbeaten American Chris Algieri. They will meet in Macau on November 23.

The champion said he had held talks with the Chinese authorities about the "inauguration" of a company to undertake the project.

"They (the Chinese government) will put up the facilities, and if I have the time, I will visit them once a month or once in three months to supervise them," Pacquiao said.

He did not reveal the project's timetable or costs but said he believed the partnership could help thaw ties between the Philippines and China, who are engaged in a tense territorial maritime dispute in the South China Sea.

Pacquiao defended his decision to open boxing academies in China instead of his own country, and laughed off suggestions his project would deprive the Philippines of more world champions.

"In the Philippines we don't have a problem. What our boxers need is more support," he said. "I am already helping a few of them."

Pacquiao, a member of congress in the Philippines, is also an actor and a Christian preacher. Last Sunday he was drafted as player-coach by an expansion team in the professional Philippine Basketball Association.

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