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Manny says he wants to fight in China

BEIJING – Sen. Manny Pacquiao announced last Thursday that he plans to fight in China but held back in divulging who the opponent could be and when it may happen as a packed audience burst into applause during a press conference at the Heyuan Royal Garden Hotel here.

Pacquiao flew in with wife Jinkee from Manila early evening then proceeded straight from the airport to join Dancing Sports chairman Vincent Zhou and WBO Asia Pacific chairman Leon Panoncillo in addressing the media. Dancing Sports and MP Promotions staged a nine-fight boxing card to kick off the Belt and Road World Champion Tour in a by-invitation-only event for 500 guests at the Heyuan hotel grounds Friday night.

With Sen. Manny Pacquiao during the media during the press conference at the Heyuan Royal Garden Hotel in Beijing are, from right, WBO Asia Pacific chairman Leon Panoncillo, Dancing Sports chairman Vincent Zhou and translator Peter Tsai.
Before the fights started, Pacquiao participated in a two-hour forum organized by Belt and Road, a government-owned global infrastructure construction company. He discussed possible collaborative efforts in business, investments and sports. The boxing event was the first in a series of international sports festivals that will be the platform for Belt and Road to actualize a national strategy for development and reform. The Chinese government had approached Pacquiao to assist in promoting boxing in the Mainland and he readily agreed.

“I hope someday, I will bring my fight to China,” said Pacquiao. “This is the beginning of a partnership, the start of a relationship to promote professional boxing in China. I’m looking forward to more co-promotions with Dancing Sports not only in Beijing but throughout China.” The plan is to stage four to five boxing cards in different parts of China a year. Dancing Sports will also set up sports festivals for marathon, cycling and mind games.

Zhou said Dancing Sports has been involved in promotions for 20 years and hopes to drum up widespread interest in boxing through Pacquiao’s reputation. “Boxing is not as popular in China as it is in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and the US,” said Zhou. “We hope with Manny’s assistance, we could make it a growth sport. Our first boxing show was for charity and social development, not a commercial event. The Beijing Municipal Government and the National Training Center supported the effort. Our objective was to present a fair, open, high-level competition equal to everyone. We believe sports is open to all nations, races and beliefs. It connects everyone together.”

Author: Joaquin Henson, Philippine Star
Full Article: http://www.philstar.com/sports/2017/10/01/1744389/manny-says-he-wants-fight-china

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