Filipino boxers

Surigaonon boxer gets more than his wish as Pacquiao offers to manage him

Roel Catoto
Surigaonon boxer gets more than his wish as Pacquiao offers to manage him

Rich Diamond Baruman and Manny Pacquiao. Roel Catoto/Rappler

Roel Catoto/Rappler

Rich Diamond Baruman waits more than 7 hours for a chance to meet his boxing idol. His patience pays off.

Amateur boxer Rich Diamond Baruman only dreamed of personally catching a glimpse of Filipino boxing icon and Senator Manny Pacquiao. His wish was granted – and he got what he didn’t expect in Surigao City on Sunday, November 28. 

Baruman, 19, was sitting in the backseat of a car parked outside the city hall where he waited for more than seven hours along with hundreds of supporters of the visiting senator.

“Manny is my idol and I want to meet him personally,” Baruman who works at a local boxing gym in Surigao City as a trainer and a cleaner.

“I work at the gym in exchange for free use of the training facilities. I’m hoping that I will become a professional boxer someday,” he told Rappler.

On Sunday, he asked to tag along a group of reporters and asked them if they could connect him to Pacquiao.

During a news conference at the mayor’s office, journalist Sol Monteros introduced Baruman to Pacquiao and read his amateur boxing record of 13 wins and 2 losses. 

Smiling, Pacquiao bumped fists with the professional boxing aspirant, and then offered to have him trained.

“Gusto ka ako mo-manage nimo? (Do you want me to manage you?)” Pacquaio asked Baruman. 

Baruman, visibly stunned, nodded.

Ecstatic, he shook hands with his boxing idol, and the senator and his wife Jinky had themselves photographed with Baruman.

“I’m very happy. I couldn’t speak to him because I’m the shy type. But, yes, I’ve met my idol. I’ll do anything to achieve my dream and become like my idol,” he said.

Joey Hernal, head of the communications team of Pacquiao, said the senator instructed him to get in touch and make arrangements with Baruman. –