Manny Pacquiao has dedicated his upcoming fight on Nov. 24 in Macau to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, which authorities said killed at least 2,300 people in the boxer's native Philippines.
Pacquiao is currently training at General Santos in Philippines, south of where the majority of the devastation hit. He's set to fight Brandon Rios, and instead of tending to his people and offering his support, his trainers insist it's best if he limits all distractions. In focusing on his upcoming bout, Pacquiao hopes to provide hope and inspiration to those most impacted.
“I really want to visit the area and personally do what I can to help our countrymen who have suffered so much in this terrible tragedy, but I'm in deep training for a crucial fight so I regret I cannot go,” he said to the Associated Press.
“I will send help to those who need it most,” he said, adding that he joins with the rest of his countrymen in praying for those most affected.
Pacquiao adviser Michael Koncz said that the boxer hopes to visit the areas most devastated following his fight. His camp also said that they've been monitoring the devasation and received constant updates on the situation.
The fight is especially important to Pacquiao, after losing his last two bouts to Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez. He's out to prove that his skills aren't deteriorating.
“Manny's desire was to go to that area and to visit them and lift the spirits,” Koncz said, “But we have the most important fight of his career.”