PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — TRUE to his word, boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao handed out a P1-million check to get the ball rolling for the establishment of a foundation benefiting the sportswriting fraternity in the country.
The 30-year-old top pound-for-pound fighter in the world personally presented the amount Saturday night to officials of the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) during a thanksgiving party the boxing icon tendered at the Harbour View Restaurant.
Pacquiao initially made the pledge during the PSA-Annual Awards Night held earlier this year.
“Di ba noong PSA Awards may pledge ako sa inyo,” said Pacquiao, trying to remind his audience about the financial incentive.
“Ibibigay ko ito sa inyo ngayong gabi,” he declared, his pronouncement welcomed with a big round of applause.
PSA president Teddyvic Melendres of the Philippine Daily Inquirer received the amount in behalf of the 60-year-old media organization, the oldest in the country.
Pacquiao was named PSA Athlete of the Year in 2008 following his heartwarming success in the ring that saw him win over the likes of world champions Juan Manuel Marquez, David Diaz and the great Oscar De La Hoya.
He was likewise elevated to the PSA Hall of Fame by the organization composed of editors and sportswriters from the various national broadsheets and tabloids, making him the first Filipino athlete to be accorded such honor while still at the peak of his career.
Pacquiao will be leaving for the U.S. this week to attend the five-city publicity tour for his Nov. 14 title fight against Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Aside from Pacquiao, others pitching in for the PSA Foundation are Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Harry Angping and PLDT chairman and Smart Communications Inc. top honcho Manny V. Pangilinan.