Manny Pacquiao, who is now a senator in the Philippines, has raised the stakes for Filipino boxers as he assures them of 5 million pesos if they would be able to bring home the gold medal from the Rio Olympics which will formally open on Aug. 5 in Brazil.
In his one-on-one interview with CNN Sports Desk anchor Andrei Felix, Pacquiao stated that he was able to meet in person the two Filipino pugs who will see action in the Olympics, namely, Rogen Ladon, who will see action in the light flyweight division, and Charly Suarez, who will fight in the lightweight division. Pacquiao added that he told the boxers to give it their best and always ask the Lord for encouragement before they step into the ring.
It will also be a tall order for the two boxers as they will also try to end the 20-year drought of the Philippines for a gold medal in the Olympics. Both Ladon and Suarez will also have to contend themselves with one coach, Nolito “Boy” Velasco, to guide them through their fights in Rio.
“I have given them words of encouragement and I have placed the 5 million pesos as a pledge if one of them brings home the gold medal. Of course, everybody has a chance, I told them ‘that you did everything in training, you sacrificed a lot and you poured out everything you got for this mission,’ and everything will bear fruit with God’s grace,” Pacquiao said.
For team manager Ed Picson, the Filipino boxers will have to contend themselves of what is being given to them. The Philippines wanted to send two coaches for each of the boxers but the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) said that according to Rio officials only one coach can be sent for the games.
With that in mind, Pacquiao vows to amend the laws pertaining to Philippine sports and to reorganize the POC and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) to able to get the proper budget for the athletes’ needs. Pacquiao promises to iron out things so that the Philippines could stand a chance in getting that elusive gold medal in the Olympics.
Pacquiao stated that every athlete’s dream is to be able to participate in the Olympics. Boxing has proven that it can haul medals, with five of its nine medals in total in the Olympics coming from boxing. Pacquiao hopes that he would be able to bring change not only to boxing but also in Philippine sports in his capacity as a legislator.
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