Filipino sports icon Manny Pacquiao, whose storied boxing career is nearing the end now, will soon stage a national professional boxing championships aimed at discovering new talents in a sport, which has produced this country’s greatest sports heroes.
The monthly tournament called Manny Pacquiao National Boxing Championships will feature eight boxing teams from all over the country which each will field 8 boxers in eight weight categories who will fight from 6 to 8 rounds in a double round robin format.
The fights, to be held in a venue in Metro Manila, are scheduled to be aired weekly in a major television network with Manny Pacquiao himself hosting the show to be known as Manny Pacquiao Presents (MPP).
Negotiations are ongoing with Solaire Resort & Casino as the possible venue of the tournament and GMA Network which has expressed interest in airing the fight. Pacquiao is currently connected with GMA Network as a show host.
The participants in the tournament will be boxers in the junior flyweight (108 lbs.), flyweight (112 lbs.), junior bantamweight (115 lbs.), bantamweight (118 lbs.), junior featherweight (122 lbs.), featherweight (126 lbs.), junior lightweight (130 lbs.) and lightweight (136 lbs.) divisions.
Each boxer will have to figure in at least five matches before he is declared MPP National Boxing Champion which will earn him the Manny Pacquiao Trophy and a cash prize of P100,000, besides the purse he will be receiving each time he appears in the tournament.
Under the rules of the tournament, only those who have not won national, regional or world titles are qualified and the boxers must not be over 28 years old at the time of the tournament.
Boxers who will come out as champions in the tournament will be given a promotional contract and an opportunity to train abroad under known boxing trainers.
Already, five teams from Mindanao have signified their intent to join the tournament. These are the boxing clubs from Davao City, General Santos City and Saranggani, South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat, North Cotabato’s Braveheart Boxing Club, and Bukidnon.
Only three more teams from Luzon and the Visayas are needed to complete the number of teams for the tournament.
The Manny Pacquiao National Boxing Championships is expected to be launched by the last week of July with the boxing icon himself hosting the show at ringside.