Hindi ko gets.
The People’s Champ, The Pacman, The Philippines’ Pride, world-renowned boxing champion Manny Pacquiao.
Will be teaching Chinese boxers how to get ahead in the sport.
It’s all levels of wrong isn’t it? And yet it seems we’re doing nothing but watching it happen.
Simple and simplistic
It might also be too late to do anything, least of all change Pacquiao’s mind.
Money talks after all, and China was willing to put out the money for a chain of Manny Pacquiao Boxing Education Institutes across their country. Some reports say that the first one has already been opened in Hong Kong, with 16 more in the works. Pacquiao himself told ABS-CBN News Channel on August 27 that the first school has yet to open in Beijing.
Regardless of when these institutes will be set up and how many there will be, this is a blow like no other to Philippine boxing. Because there is no rhyme or reason to having the best boxer we have had in recent history teaching boxers elsewhere how to fight well and better – if not how to become world champions, as Pacquiao himself says.
He thinks simplistically about this task he has become embroiled in. It is merely a matter of sharing knowledge and teaching Chinese boxers the basics. On Yahoo Sports he says, “They (Chinese government) will put up the facilities, and if I have the time, I will visit them like once a month or once in three months to supervise them.”
Pacquiao also believes that this engagement just might help mend problematic ties between the Philippines and China.
Like it just might solve the problem of China taking over our territories in the West Philippine Sea?
That is hilarious.
What about our own?
While Pacquiao makes it seem like a harmless enterprise, there is no reason to believe that this will mean nothing to our local boxers and athletes. Having Pacquiao train Chinese boxers is like having our best boxer on the side of another country altogether.
There is no other way, is there? How else will Pacquiao support our local boxers in fights when they are up against Chinese boxers? As trainer – and as the man whose name is on those Chinese boxing institutes – he will have no choice but to stand squarely behind China’s boxers. Supporting the Filipino boxer can only become secondary to that.
Which is already what this is about really. Pacquiao of course dismisses the assertion that training Chinese fighters is a choice he makes against Filipino boxers. Via Yahoo Sports, he says: “In the Philippines we don’t have a problem (with producing good boxers). What our boxers need is more support.” And as if to make a point, he has said in various reports that he’s already helping out some Filipino boxers.
Which of course is not, cannot be equal, to actually building a Manny Pacquiao Institute for Boxers in this same country that has cradled him, supported him, and provided his icon with the idolatry it demanded. And really, if Pacquiao’s attitude is that our boxers already know how to box, and can become champions without his help, then that has yet to be proven, yes?
And no, Nonito Donaire does not count.
Pacquiao gets away with …
I’ve been boxing at Elorde Gilmore for a good three years, and I have always wondered why someone of Pacquiao’s stature and power – not to mention wealth – has not been able to come up with some grand project that will truly make a dent in the lives of boxers, young and new, old and retired.
I have wondered why someone like boxing trainer Daddy Larry, who fought with Elorde himself, has had to live to his old age training boxer wannabes and enthusiasts without a regular paycheck, no healthcare or job security. His story is one that will happen to the younger trainers in Elorde who, with no money for training, have stopped fighting and competing, and are merely stuck earning on a per-student-basis in various Elorde gyms in the metro.
Elsewhere in the world, the careers of bigger star athletes like Michael Jordan are riddled with charity work and giving back, with wanting to train others to do as well in the sport, if not better than the older generation. But lucky us, with Pacquiao what we’ve gotten is a whole gamut of roles that seem to only be centered on the self: politician and congressman (now with a political dynasty to boot!), singer and movie star, TV host and religious pastor, basketball player and coach. None of these roles has meant the improvement of local boxing, nor the development of Filipino athletes like him.
We might have good boxers yes. But without someone investing in them the way China – and Pacquiao – will invest in Chinese boxers, then there is no reason to believe that the good Filipino boxers will continue fighting. Or win in fights against Chinese boxers in the future.
Especially since the Chinese boxers will now be trained by Pacquiao himself, the People’s Champ.
No wait: the People’s Republic of China’s Champ.
That sounds about right.