The People’s Champ Manny Pacquiao and South Korean mixed martial artist DK Yoo pose before the working media during a presser. (Photo: Yahoo!News)
By Tracy Cabrera
TAGUIG CITY, METRO MANILA — It’s simple, ‘fighting senator’ Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Pacquiao just can’t resist getting into the ring as he now has stayed his retirement as a professional fighter by signing to a six-round exhibition bout with South Korean mix martial arts expert DK Yoo in Seoul.
Set on December 11 in South Korea’s highly-urbanized capital, Pacquiao will engage Yoo to delight his boxing fans and those of the Korean fighter while proceeds of the bout will benefit victims of the ongoing Ukraine war and the Pac-Man’s housing program in Mindanao.
During yesterday’s official launch at the Shangri-La BGC (Bonifacio Global City) in Taguig City, both fighters were in attendance to answer questions from the media.
Billed as a special event, the Pacquiao-Yoo showdown joins the fast-growing trend involving celebrities squaring off in non-traditional fights. Erstwhile world’s ‘pound-for-pound’ king Floyd Mayweather Jr. did this a couple of times even as celebrated YouTube icons have also engaged in these celebrity shows in the past few years.
However, despite being tagged as merely an event to entertain their fans, the People’s Champ and Yoo as well have to whip themselves into shape as they both plan to treat the clash as a regular match of martial skills.
During the presser, Pacquiao’s trainer Baby Fernandez vowed to lend a hand in getting the 43-year-old former senator primed for battle come fight night in December
Last year, the Pac-Man announced his retirement from boxing after losing to Cuban champion Yordenis Ugas in Las Vegas, but pending the December exhibition, he promised his fans: “I will train like it’s a championship fight.”
“In my heart, right, now, I am retired . . . (Still), I am excited because I am returning to the ring to help people,” he added.
Meanwhile, Pacquiao’s opponent Yoo, boasts of coming up with an integrated martial arts technique culled from 15 combat disciplines including boxing and he has vowed to give fans a fistic treat when he meets with the People’s Champ. (ai/mtvn)