Pacquiao: Boxing is my top priority
GENERAL SANTOS CITY — Eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao, who had earlier signified his intention to join the Philippine Basketball Association draft late this month after being hired as playing coach by KIA Motors, is assuring his fans that boxing remains his top priority.
“Basketball is my first love but boxing is my bread and butter,” Pacquiao told the Inquirer in a telephone interview on Monday. “It’s a matter of time management. I’ve been doing multi-tasking before and this job as playing-coach of a basketball team is no longer new.”
Pacquiao also said his entire training for his Nov. 23 ring encounter with American boxer Chris Algieri will be held here, away from the distractions of pro basketball.
Boxing Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach has nothing to worry about; he will get what he wished for.
Roach, who had had voiced concern about Pacquiao’s foray into the world of basketball, had been pushing for Pacquiao’s training against Algieri be carried out in GenSan. Roach feared Pacquiao might get distracted by his passion for basketball while training for his next fight.
Pacquiao said his coach and hardcore fans have nothing to worry about as his entire training camp will be in General Santos City.
This is the second time the world boxing icon would be holding his training camp in the city.
For his fight with Brandon “Bambam” Rios, the Filipino ring idol spent his entire training here then flew to Macau, China, five days before the scheduled fight.
Pacquiao has his own Wild Card Gym here where he used to hold his training and sparring sessions.
He also has a basketball court right inside his sprawling compound at City Heights.
Since his return here after his conquest of American boxer Timothy Bradley last April 12 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Pacquiao has been actively playing different games such as basketball, volleyball, chess, billiards, darts and scrabble.
His covered court teems with people engaged in various sports activities every time he’s around.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.