Filipino boxing icon Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao.
SAN FRANCISCO, California – Filipino boxing icon Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao defended his decision to create a boxing institute in China instead of one in the Philippines and was evasive when asked how much he was getting out of the deal.
Pacquiao arrived at the San Francisco International Airport on Wednesday morning to continue his media tour for his November showdown against unbeaten American boxer Chris Algieri.
He was immediately asked about his new project – a boxing institute in China that he will put up with the help of a Chinese company and the Chinese government.
"May partner ako na Chinese. Our plan is to put up a Manny Pacquiao Boxing Academy in China, to help promote boxing in China and help young boxers in China," Pacquiao said.
When asked why he chose to train Chinese boxers over his country's own athletes, Pacquiao said the Philippines has no problems in developing its own boxers. Moreover, he is already training some Filipino pugilists.
"Meron na din naman. Nag-umpisa din naman tayo sa Pilipinas. Nakuha na natin 'yung mga young boxers sa Pilipinas," he said.
He also believes that his new partnership with China will help ease the tension between the two countries.
"Maganda 'yun to build a relationship sa bansang China," he said. "Maganda rito because, of course, one of our partner is from the government. Maganda itong partnership namin."
Apart from taking care of his boxing career, Pacquiao is also a congressman and has recently been drafted as a player by KIA Motors, the PBA team for which he will also serve as head coach.
The "Pacman," however, insists he will still have time to take care of his boxing school in China.
"Time management," said Pacquiao. "(Through) time management, we can do all things."
His coach, Hall-of-Famer Freddie Roach, also said the boxing academy is unlikely to affect Pacquiao's already busy schedule as for the most part, the facility will be run by Pacquiao's assistants like Buboy Fernandez.
"When you do things like that, when you're a franchise, you have to spend a certain amount of time at those guys. But pretty much, it's not really Manny Pacquiao running the gym so much as it's his people running the gym and making sure it's being ran professionally and correctly," said Roach.
"So Manny has to actually hire people that are really good at it and good trainers, and so far a lot of his assistants like Buboy and those guys will get jobs working in these gyms," he added.
The President of the U.S. Pinoys for Good Governance, however, disagrees with Pacquiao's assertion that his boxing academies will help ease the tension between the two countries.
"This deal with China will result in millions for him that he can be able to use hopefully to pay taxes to the Philippines, which will help develop the country," said Rodel Rodis in an interview with Balitang America recently.
"But I think it is very naïve to think that this partnership with China is going to thaw the relations between the Philippines and China," he added.
Rodis hopes that since Pacquiao is still a political figure, he can re-think his decision for the better of the Philippines.
Rodis says that their organization will not ask Pacquiao to stop his plans for boxing academies in China, but adds they will send him more material on the territory dispute so that he will hopefully come to the conclusion of not helping China during this time of disagreement of both countries on his own.