Other Sport

Pacquiao visits troops in Philippines

2017-07-29 10:10
Manny Pacquiao (AFP)

Manila - Boxing hero Manny Pacquiao lifted the spirits of Philippine troops in a visit on Saturday to a southern city where soldiers have been battling pro-Islamic State militants for over two months.

The boxer-turned-senator, dressed in a military camouflage uniform, joked that he would join the fight in the city of Marawi where militants have been on a rampage, holding hostages and burning buildings while flying the black IS flag.

"You are the real heroes, not Manny Pacquiao. I am just a boxer but you give your lives for our country," he told soldiers in a camp in Marawi City.

"Hopefully, I can come back here and greet you again when the fighting is done and if it isn't finished when I come back, then I will be the one who will go over there," said Pacquiao, referring to a battleground outside the camp where gunshots and explosions could be heard.

The fighting in the Mindanao region has claimed 630 lives, including 471 militants, 45 civilians and 114 government troops, the military has said.

Pacquiao, who was made a lieutenant colonel in the military reserves in recognition of his boxing achievements, remains a hugely popular figure in the Philippines.

He rose from poverty to become a millionaire world boxing champion in an unprecedented eight weight divisions, using his celebrity status as a springboard to get elected to the powerful Philippine senate.

But Pacquiao's star has dimmed in recent years, with the 38-year-old fighter losing his world welterweight title to Australian Jeff Horn in a major upset last month.

Read more on:    manny pacquiao  |  boxing

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Besides the 'Big 3' of rugby, cricket and soccer, which of the 'smaller' sports in South Africa do you enjoy the most?

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.