Philippine boxing

Pacquiao, Sulaiman honor Filipino champs, eye PH-Mexico tiff

Roy Luarca

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Pacquiao, Sulaiman honor Filipino champs, eye PH-Mexico tiff

PACMAN. Manny Pacquiao in training.

Wendell Alinea/MP Promotions

Invited by Manny Pacquiao to the Elorde-Pacquiao Boxing Awards, WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman announces that he will stage a dual meet involving the Philippines and Mexico

MANILA, Philippines – 2023 was far from being a banner year for Philippine boxing. Still, the legendary Manny Pacquiao, one the world’s best fighters ever, found a way to make it special.

During the Elorde-Pacquiao Boxing Awards at Okada Manila on Sunday, March 24, the eight-division world champion took time out from his hectic schedule to grace the event with World Boxing Council (WBC) president Mauricio Sulaiman as the main guest.

Pacquiao invited Sulaiman, through international kingmaker Sean Gibbons, to become the keynote speaker.

Sulaiman accepted the offer and did not regret doing so.

The WBC president was so pleased by the warm reception he got from Pacquiao, Filipino sports officials, and boxing fans that he was prompted to announce that he would stage a dual meet involving Mexico and the Philippines coinciding with the 2025 staging of the dinner awards.

“Next year, we will hold a dual meet featuring top boxers from the Philippines and Mexico,” Sulaiman told Filipino sportswriters. He also assured Pacquiao and Gibbons that the 2025 edition would be memorable.

“2025 marks the 59th year of the ‘Thrilla in Manila,'” said Sulaiman, referring to the epic fight between all-time greats Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier held at the Araneta Coliseum on October 1, 1975, and won by Ali via 15th-round stoppage.

“This is the Oscars of boxing,” added Sulaiman, who cited the presence of 15 Filipino world champions, led by Pacquiao and the likes of Rolando Navarrete and Erbito Salavarria.

Pacquiao won the WBC flyweight crown in Thailand in December 1998 and the WBC super-welterweight belt in Texas in November 2010.

Pacquiao concurred with Sulaiman’s vision, promising to make the second staging even bigger.

Former world champion Marlon Tapales and Melvin Jerusalem led the major awardees on Sunday, along with 2024 Paris Olympics-bound Eumir Marcial, who knocked out Thai Thoedsak Sinam in the fourth round on Saturday, March 23. –

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