Chavit warns Pacman of Japanese foe

Abac Cordero - The Philippine Star
Chavit warns Pacman of Japanese foe
Luis ‘Chavit’ Singson

MANILA, Philippines — If some people think Japanese MMA and kickboxing star Chihiro Suzuki is a piece of cake for Manny Pacquiao, they better think twice.

“Magaling din ‘yung kalaban. Gusto siya talunin nun,” Luis “Chavit” Singson, Pacquiao’s tested ally, said yesterday.

Singson paid a surprise visit to The STAR headquarters yesterday, and when the discussions turned to sports, it meant Pacquiao, no one else.

The seasoned politician from Ilocos Sur, who once headed the Philippine National Shooting Association, warned Pacquiao not to take the Japanese-Peruvian lightly.

“Kahit three rounds lang ‘yan, mag ingat siya (Pacquiao). Kailangan handa siya,” said Singson ahead of the July 28 fight set at the Saitama Super Arena. He said Pacquiao could make $5 million for the fight.

 Pacquiao has been out of the ring for a year or since he faced a Korean martial arts expert in an exhibition fight. As a pro, he’s never been to a fight since losing to Yurdenis Ugas of Cuba in 2021.

But the former eight-division world champion, at 45, is still itching for a big fight, against anyone who would stand in front of him, and is planning to make a comeback.

Singson said Suzuki, 25, could be a good start, and hinted that the former senator is in for a short fight that could turn into a real one.

The 82-year-old Singson has not given up on Pacquiao facing retired boxing icon Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a rematch.

“Ako ang kumausap kay Floyd. Pero ang gusto niya six rounds lang. Sabi ko dapat full fight. Tingnan natin. Sana pumayag sa nine rounds. Baka pwede pa,” he said.

During an extended chat, Singson, who came with his son, Charles, dropped the name of Charly Suarez, a Filipino Olympian who has entrusted his pro boxing career to the former mayor and governor from Ilocos Sur.

“Tinutulungan ko si Charly. Kausap ko si (promoter) Bob Arum hinahanapan ko sana ng big fight. Magaling si Charly,” he said.

Singson didn’t sound too interested in the NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks but was aware of the coming Paris Olympics.

He’s been a staunch supporter of the Filipino athletes, in the past offering cash bonuses to medalists in international competitions.

Asked if he has anything in mind for the Filipino bets in Paris, he said, “Tingnan natin.”

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