Arum Predicts There May Be "As Many As Ten World Champions Out Of The Philippines In The Years Ahead"

by James Slater - Boxing is red hot right now in The Philippines, and not just because of the great Manny Pacquiao. As all those fans who were privileged enough to have seen this past Saturday's terrific fight card from The Araneta Coliseum, in The Philippines will be aware, the country has some great and exciting world champions to go right alongside "Pac-Man." Nonito Donaire looked nothing short of sensational in dismantling the previously unbeaten Raul Martinez, and Hawaiian Brian Viloria - who the Filipino people have embraced as one of their own - won a great war against Ulises Solis..

Not only, then, are there great bouts being staged in The Philippines, but the country has a number of ultra-talented fighting men. And Top Rank boss Bob Arum, who promoted Saturday's show, says there could well be more Filipino world champions in the next few years.

Talking after Saturday's card to Inside Sports, Arum praised the Filipino people and said that there are a number of future stars of boxing hailing from their homeland, some of which that have not even been discovered yet.

"There are a tremendous number of terrific, talented Filipino fighters," Arum said. "A lot of them haven't been discovered yet. Filipinos are very gentle, very nice people, but in the boxing ring they are titans and they give the public what they want and they have the hearts to go with it.

"I think you are going to see, in the next few years, maybe as may as ten world champions out of The Philippines because they are really terrific fighters and have great loyal followings. Remember, it's not only the Filipinos in The Philippines but there's about ten to twelve million Filipinos who live around the world, including about three million in the United States. That's a great, great fan base.

"The Filipino's love their boxing, it's their major sport like the Mexicans also. Great rivalries, great people."

Who knows, when it comes to the lower weight divisions, The Philippines may one day turn out a number of top class fighters that will rival Mexico's vast talent. It is undeniable that a poor background produces hungry and extremely hard working fighting men. Manny Pacquaio is still The Philippine's biggest and most well known success story along these lines, but would-be stars like Donaire and others are not far behind.

With "Pac-Man" and "The Filipino Flash" giving great inspiration and showing the way, you can rest assured Arum is right, and that right now there are dozens and dozens of young and ambitious Filipino kids learning how to fight in the gyms.

For many people around the world, the great sport of boxing is still the only way out of a life of poverty.

Article posted on 20.04.2009

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