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article imageOp-Ed: What makes Paquiao popular in Australia, elsewhere in the world

By Leo Reyes     May 29, 2017 in Sports
With barely two weeks to go before WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao moves over to Brisbane to continue training for his fight against unbeaten Australian boxer Jeff Horn, there are reports that tickets for the fight are almost sold out.
Pacquiao is putting his WBO welterweight title on the line against Horn on July 2 at the Suncorp Arena in Brisbane, Australia.
If the 55,000 capacity Suncorp Stadium is filled up on fight night, it will be a record-breaking boxing event in Australia since the Fenech-Nelson grudge fight in Melbourne in 2008.
Pacquiao's longtime trainer Freddie Roach insists that the huge Suncorp Stadium will overflow not because a native Australian fighter is featured in the event but Aussie fans are buying tickets because they want to watch Pacquiao in person in the ring.
“I’ll bet you that 90 percent of the crowd will be there for Pacquiao,” Roach told CNN Philippines. “Australia is not a big fight town, but Manny Pacquiao is a big name there and he has never been there before.”
“They’re gonna love to see him, and they’re going to come out,” Roach added.
Pacquiao fights are easier to sell as promoter Bob Arum would agree. That is why the 85-year-old promoter would usually capitalize on Pacquiao's popularity to build new boxing stars in his Top Rank stable of fighters by pairing them with the Filipino star.
Some of Top Rank's best fighters became popular overnight when they were given the opportunity to fight Pacquiao, who remains popular even today as he prepares to retire in a couple of years.
But why is Pacquiao so popular all over the world? The reason is obvious. The fighting senator from the Philippines strives to please and entertain the fans by putting up a good, clean and exciting fight. He also succeeded in promoting himself and his family as good role models for the youth to look up to and emulate.
Except for his fight against Floyd Mayweather in 2015, almost all of his fights starting off with Lehlo Ledwaba in 2001 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, were box office hits.
The reason why the Mayweather fight was a boring fight to see can be attributed to Mayweather as he refused to cooperate with Pacquiao to please the fans by running away and not engaging in a toe-to-toe slug fest.
While some Australian fans would buy tickets to support Horn being a fellow Australian, many of them will come to be entertained and they know that Pacquiao will strive to give them an exciting and entertaining fight.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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