Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao is dedicating his comeback fight against Mexican-American Brandon “Bam-Bam” Rios to the thousands victims of Super typhoon “Yolanda.”
Although he cannot visit the area of the victims because of his intense training, Pacquiao, 34, said he will send help via Team Pacquiao to the devastated areas in Tacloban City, other parts of Leyte, and the Visayas region.
“I really want to visit the area and personally do what I can to help our countrymen who have suffered so much in this terrible tragedy, but I’m in deep training for a crucial fight so I regret I cannot go,” Pacquiao said through a statement posted to philboxing.com.
Pacquiao (54-5-2 win-loss-draw card with 38 knockouts) and his camp are expected to leave the country for Macau on November 18.
“I will send help to those who need it the most and I enjoin all of you to pray for our country and people in these trying times,” added Pacquiao, who will face Rios on November 23 at the Cotai Arena in Macau, China.
The Pacquiao camp, however, did not divulge what kind of help they will bring to eastern Visayas, where 10, 000 people were reportedly died and at least thousands suffered.
Meanwhile, Pacquiao’s international promoter Top Rank Promotion chief Bob Arum announced that Top Rank Promotion will donate P1 million pesos for the rehabilitation areas affected by the typhoon.
“I just want to tell you, because my company and I so loves the Philippine people, Top Rank is donating P1 million for the area that has been devastated,” Arum told philboxing.com site.
Besides Pacquiao, fellow Filipino boxer Nonito Donaire Jr. has also dedicated his ninth round technical knockout win against Vic Darchinyan last Sunday in Texas, USA to the victims of the typhoon.
JOSEF T. RAMOS