Team Lakay aspiring for Manny Pacquiao’s longevity
JAKARTA, Indonesia—Team Lakay doesn’t have to look far for an added source of motivation in its fighters’ bid to remain as world champions for as long as they could.
Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao has been one of the best boxers of his generation for the longest time and although, he’s not the same fighter he once was when he conquered one division after another, he’s still a world champion even at age 40.
That longevity is what the warriors of Team Lakay are aspiring to emulate on the MMA stage.
“Manny Pacquiao is an inspiration to all of us in Team Lakay. We all saw how he rose from from poverty to superstardom,” said Team Lakay headmaster Mark Sangiao.
“If we can, we would love to replicate the duration of his title reign. We also hope to compete at that level on a global stage at 40 years old.”
Pacquiao won his first world title as a flyweight in 1998 then, went on to claim seven more major belts to become the sport’s only eight-division champion after dismantling Antonio Margarito for the WBC light middleweight crown in 2010. On Sunday (Manila time), the fighting Senator is defending his WBA (regular) strap against Adrien Broner in Las Vegas.
Eduard Folayang, the current ONE lightweight king, said winning titles across different divisions the way Pacquiao did is near impossible to pull off in MMA.
“Boxing and mixed martial arts are two different sports, so it will be hard to replicate his success in being a world champion in as many weight classes,” Folayang said. “There’s a huge gap in weight in each division in mixed martial arts.”
But aiming to have the same staying power as Pacquiao’s is tough but achievable for Folayang.
“What I hope to accomplish instead is to be a world champion for as long as he is. He encourages me to stay healthy, long enough to compete in a world championship at 40,” said Folayang.
“Everything he is right now is a result of his hard work and perseverance. His story inspires all of us in Team Lakay.”
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