KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) – Boxing great Manny Pacquiao has said Asian fighters need greater support and more discipline if they are to become world-beaters, a report said on Thursday.
The 35-year-old Filipino superstar has fought professionally for nearly two decades and last month reclaimed the World Boxing Organization welterweight world title he lost in 2012.
“We have a lot of good talent in Asia, especially in our country (the Philippines) where there are a lot of young ones who can do the country proud,’’ he told Malaysia’s New Straits Times.
“Fighters need to have good coaches, trainers and facilities. It is also important to educate them about what it takes to be a good boxer and how a boxer’s life should be.’’
Pacquiao, who defeated American Timothy Bradley by unanimous decision in Nevada last month to avenge the 2012 loss, added that Asian fighters also needed to toughen up mentally.
“I did not have a lot of chances to fight as an amateur in Asia. I had already turned pro when I was 16 so I did not get to compete in competitions such as the Asian Games or even the Olympics,’’ he said.
“To become a professional is not easy. My advice to those hoping to make it is to love their job, focus, believe in God and most importantly stay disciplined.’’
Pacquiao, who is also a congressman in the Philippines, was in Malaysia with a business delegation from the archipelago.