Other Sport

Beckham roots for Pacquiao

2013-11-23 10:26
Manny Pacquiao (AP Photo)

Macao -Asian boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao will not only have the support of a Filipino-packed crowd when he fights Brandon Rios on Sunday, but also a phalanx of celebrity cheerleaders, led by David Beckham.

The former England football captain will be joined at the Macau ringside by a number of celebrity guests for the fight, including Oscar-wining actor and director George Clooney, Sands China CEO Ed Tracy confirmed.

Reality TV star Paris Hilton and Daniel Wu and Eddie Peng will also be at ringside, while American rap superstar 50 Cent is also strongly rumoured to be flying in to see "Pac-Man's" comeback fight.

Singing star Alicia Keys, who has been performing concerts at the Venetian Resort where the bout will take place, is also expected to attend.

Beckham jetted in to the southern Chinese city on Friday and immediately declared himself to be a "huge fan" of eight-weight world champion Pacquiao.

Beckham arrived to announce a commercial partnership with the resort's owners, Sands Las Vegas, but then let slip the real reason why he had decided to travel to the the semi-autonomous Chinese region this weekend.

"(Pacquiao) is obviously one of the reasons why I'm here and why I'm really excited," said the former Manchester United and Real Madrid star at a press conference.

"I'm a huge fan of Manny's. I met him a couple of years ago in the Philippines, when I was on tour there with the LA Galaxy and also there with UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund).

"He really is a truly inspirational person."

Beckham also had a message for the people of the Philippines as they attempt to rebuild their towns and lives after the devastation wreaked by Super Typhoon Haiyan on November 8, which has left nearly 7,000 people dead or missing.

"The eyes of the world have been on the Philippines the last couple of weeks," said Beckham.

"This fight will mean so much to Manny because, for a slight moment, it's going to put a smile on the people's faces in the Philippines.

"And we all send out love and our hopes to the people in that part of the world."

Pacquiao, coming off back-to-back defeats for the first time in his glittering career, takes on Rios in a "must-win" bout for the World Boxing Organization international welterweight championship in Macau on Sunday morning (Saturday night in the US).

The boxers are expected to touch gloves for the main event around 11:30 am (0330 GMT).

Read more on:    manny pacquiao  |  boxing


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2019/20 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

How should the 2019/20 English Premier League title race be resolved?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.