If nothing else, China’s 1.4 billion-strong population can produce a world boxing champion.
But it will take the likes of Manny Pacquiao to make it happen in a hurry.
Not that the country lacks the means to become a superpower in the sport on its own. By any measure, it’s already a sporting giant outside of boxing.
Pacquiao’s services will ramp things up, according to ABC News.
Pacquiao is being tapped by the Chinese government and a Chinese company to set up a series of boxing institutes in his name, with the aim of sharing his skills and experience as a winner of eight world titles.
Pacquiao confirmed the venture during a media event in Shanghai where he is promoting his Nov. 22 fight against Chris Algieri for the World Boxing Organization welterweight title in Macau.
Pacquiao, 35, said the Manny Pacquiao Boxing Education Institute will be launched in Beijing and the plan is for the whole of China.
While China has produced accomplished fighters and Olympic champions at the amateur level, it has not shown much potential to translate that success to the professional ranks.
Chinese boxers “just need some knowledge about boxing and should be taught the basics”, Pacquiao said.
“Of course, with a population of 1.4 billion, they can produce good fighters like other champions,” he said.
Earlier, Pacquiao, who is also a congressman, told ABS-CBN television in Manila he intends his new venture to also foster warmer relationships between the Philippines and China, whose territorial dispute in the South China Sea has intensified in recent months.
– Contact us at [email protected].com