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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Hall of Fame honor adds to Pacquiao's motivation

MANILA, Philippines – Being enshrined to the Philippine Sportswriters Association’s (PSA) Hall of Fame will be an added motivation for Manny Pacquiao when he faces Ricky Hatton on May 2.

“This honor will motivate me to further increase my desire to make our country proud," Pacquiao said in Filipino.

The PSA will enshrine Pacquiao to the Hall of Fame during the PSA Annual Awards Night on February 20, Friday, at the Alegria Lounge of the Manila Pavilion Hotel, where other personalities will also be recognized for their contribution to Philippine sports.

This will be Pacquiao’s fifth PSA athlete of the year (AOY) award after earning the honor from 2002 to 2004 and in 2006. Going 3-0 in three different weight divisions last year was the reason why Pacquiao earned the award from the country’s oldest media organization.

He now join the likes of bowlers Paeng Nepomuceno and Bong Coo, basketball greats Caloy Loyzaga and Lauro Mumar, pro boxers Pancho Villa and Gabriel “Flash" Elorde, amateur boxer Mansueto “Onyok" Velasco, track stars Lydia De Vega and Mona Sulaiman, swimmer Teofilo Yldefonso, tennis player Felicisimo Ampon, Asia’s first Grandmaster Eugene Torre, and golfers Ben Arda and Celestino Tugot in the Hall of Fame.

Pacquiao won his first PSA athlete of the year award in 2002 as a rising 22-year old boxer. He thanked the PSA for the award.

He equaled Henry Armstrong’s 80-year old record of fighting and winning in three weight divisions. He defeated Juan Manuel Marquez and David Diaz to claim the super-featherweight and lightweight titles in a span of three months.

Pacquiao’s claim to international boxing superstardom happened on December 6 when he scored an eighth-round stoppage of the legendary Oscar De La Hoya in a 147-pound non-title fight.

Pacquiao said trainer and coach Freddie Roach plans to have another eight-week training to prepare for his fight against Hatton the same way when he trained against De La Hoya.

He is currently busy shooting scenes for the upcoming TV series Totoy Bato with Robin Padilla and is expected to leave for the US by the end of the month to start promoting and training for the May 2 bout.

Pacquiao will face British boxing superstar Hatton on May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas in a fight that nearly got cancelled because of disagreements in the revenue split. – GMANews.TV


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