Manny Pacquiao used to be the only Filipino athlete to share the spotlight with global sports icons like Kobe Bryant, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova, Xiang Liu, Cristiano Ronaldo. At the height of his boxing career, Pacquiao was featured in a Hollywood billboard and in world-wide TV ads. He was a widely sought-out endorser for international brands.
AIBA president Dr. Ching Kuo Wu of Taiwan isn’t waiting four more years to welcome pro boxers to the Olympics. He broached the idea of making Olympic boxing an open competition, like basketball, six years ago and with the Rio de Janeiro Games a few months away, the way is clear for a veritable free-for-all.
Only seven fighters can boast of having put boxing legend Manny Pacquiao on the canvas. The first to do it was Rustico Torrecampo who halted Pacquiao in the third round in Mandaluyong in 1996. Pacquiao scaled over the weight limit for the fight and was penalized by wearing bigger gloves, softening the impact of his punches to compensate for his excess poundage.