FILIPINO boxing icon Manny Pacquiao is thrilled that he was selected as one of the judges in the 63rd Miss Universe pageant to be held in Miami, Florida, on January 25.
The event comes after his scheduled dinner with Prince Harry of Wales in London.
Team Pacquiao Officer Joe Ramos said Pacquiao has accepted the invitation to be one of the judges. He will be joining TV host and shoe designer Kristin Cavallari, TV and film actor William Levy, reality star Lisa Vanderpump and fashion journalist Louise Roe.
“He (Pacquiao) is really excited and he is going to be there in Miami together with wife Jinky after his dinner with Prince Harry of Wales,” Ramos, also the assistant team manager of KIA basketball team, told The Manila Times.
The couple will fly to Los Angeles on January 14 then go to London on January 22. They will return to the US before the 25th to attend the beauty pageant.
“After that, Manny has also a scheduled appointment with US President Barack Obama,” Ramos said.
Pacquiao’s long-time business manager Eric Pineda believes that Pacquiao’s participation in this year’s Miss Universe pageant will boost his stock in the US not only as a fighter but also as an international sports celebrity.
“He (Pacquiao) was chosen because he is very popular in the US,” Pineda told The Times.
“This is a big boost to Manny’s popularity since Miss Universe is a popular event,” he said.
The Philippines will be represented by Mary Jean Lastimosa, who will join 88 contestants at the FIU Arena in Doral, Miami. The pageant will be broadcast on January 26 (Manila time).
The World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion will have dinner with Prince Harry and will likely meet Queen Elizabeth on January 22.
Mike Koncz, Pacquiao’s long-time adviser, will join the Sarangani lawmaker. He said a possible fight or boxing event in London may be discussed during the dinner.
“I have no any idea what we will talk about but I certainly will question them about holding a boxing event there and what concessions we can get,” Koncz, told boxingscene.com.
A fight against British rising star and former Pacquiao sparring partner welterweight boxer Amir Khan in London may be discussed since it s not yet clear if Floyd Mayweather Jr. will fight Pacquiao on May 2 this year.
The 28-year-old Khan (30-3 with 19 knockouts) defeated Devon Alexander in December via a unanimous decision in their welterweight bout.
He considers Pacquiao as his next potential opponent.