Boxer Manny Pacquiao Purchases Shares Of One FC
Posted by Joseph Lee on 08.04.2014
He now has a stake in the company...
Yahoo Sports reports that Manny Pacquiao has now purchased an unknown amount of shares in One Fighting Championship.
CEO Victor Cui said: "I'm pretty pumped. There are a ton of reasons why I'm pretty excited about this. Obviously, Manny Pacquiao is a global sports icon and having him as a part of our organization as a shareholder and promoting One FC and promoting the sport is huge for the sport in the region. It promotes awareness and growth."
He said that Pacquiao is a "relatively new MMA fan". He has several gyms in Asia and they all offer MMA classes and training areas. He also spoke about a time that Pacquiao put on One FC's four ounce gloves, lighter than his normal eight ounce gloves for boxing. He's considered one of the hardest punchers in the sport.
Cui added: "You could see him calculating the difference from the boxing gloves to the MMA gloves. He said to me, 'Man, someone could get hurt with the power of my punches if I could wear these.'"
One FC is popular in the Philippines, where Pacquaio is beloved and MMA is growing in popularity. One FC may be able to use Pacquiao's popularity to draw more fans to their events in the area. The UFC hasn't held an event in the country yet. In 2008, the UFC had light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell on a promotion tour, which brought 4,000 fans to a workout. Awareness of the sport in the Phillippines is growing thanks to the signings of Brandon Vera and Ana Julaton to ONE FC contracts (both are Filipino-Americans).
Cui said: "There are a lot of common fans and common ties with MMA and boxing [in the Philippines] and MMA awareness is much stronger than it is in other parts of Asia. Manny has been looking for some opportunities outside of boxing, and he and his team have kept an eye on the sport of MMA. It made a lot of sense to him. He knows we have a 90 percent market share [in Asia] and how strong our brand is in Asia. He knows the global reach of our organization and there was a comfort level there."
One FC will schedule a news conference in Manila for one of its events if Pacquiao's schedule allows it. He currently has a WBO welterweight title defense on November 22 in Macau, China against Chris Algieri. It will air in the US on HBO PPV. The next ONE FC show in the area is December 5.