• Pacquiao vows to help young fighters

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    Manny Pacquiao with new champion Edrin Dapudong, PT Jeff de Guzman and former North Cotabato gov. Manny Piñol. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

    Filipino boxing icon and Saranggani Lone District Representative Manny Pacquiao has vowed to help young and upcoming boxers in the country and start a program which would identify future world champions.

    The 8-division world champion, popularly known as Pacman, made the commitment during a courtesy call made by Edrin “The Sting” Dapudong, the new International Boxing Organization (IBO) World Jr. Bantamweight Champion, in his Gen. Santos City mansion on Tuesday.

    Dapudong, who celebrates his 27th birthday on June 26, presented to Pacquiao his IBO Champion’s Belt, which he received only on Monday after it was shipped from the IBO Headquarters in Florida, USA.

    The new champion from Ba-rangay Pag-asa, M’lang, North Cota-bato, won the IBO 115-lbs. title by a sensational first round knockout of South African Gideon Buthelezi in Johannesburg on June 15.

    He thus became the first world champion from North Cotabato and his first round knockout is now part of Philippine boxing history as it was only the 8th first round knockout scored by a Filipino fighter in a world championship fight.

    Pacquiao said several young Filipino fighters would see action in the undercard of his November 28 fight against American Brandon Rios in Macau.

    In a proposed partnership with GMA Network, the Saranggani Congressman also is expected to start a National Boxing Tournament involving eight boxing teams from all over the country with 8 boxers.

    The tournament, which will be known as Manny Pacquiao Presents, will pit the best upcoming fighters in eight weight divisions in the 12-month tournament.

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