Pacquiao, Donaire pledge to help typhoon victims; Arum to give P1 million in aid

Manny Pacquiao training in General Santos City. (Getty Images)

Boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao deeply regrets he cannot visit the areas devastated by super typhoon “Yolanda” because he is deep in training for his crucial battle for the WBO International welterweight title fight against Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios in Macau on November 24 .

In a text message to this reporter, Pacquiao said, “I really feel very bad over what happened in the Visayas region where more than 10,000 people are believed to have lost their lives. 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 in General Santos City for a crucial fight so I regret I cannot go.”

However, Pacquiao said “I will send help to those who need it the most and I enjoin all of you to pray for our country and people in these trying times.”

Last year, shortly after losing to Juan Manuel Marquez, Pacquiao gave P10 million to victims of Typhoon Pablo, which ravaged parts of Mindanao and the Visayas.

Pacquiao is scheduled to fly to Macau on Monday. His opponent Rios, trainer Robert Garcia and strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza left Los Angeles for Macau earlier Tuesday, Manila Time.

Top Rank's donation

Meantime, Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has announced that he and his company will donate P1 million for the rehabilitation of areas devastated by super typhoon Yolanda (International Code Name Haiyan).

In an interview with Peter Musgni of ABS-CBN in Corpus Christi, Texas, Arum compared the come-from-behind 9th round TKO victory of Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire over Vic Darchinyan in their much-awaited rematch last Saturday with the resiliency of the Filipino people in the wake of the devastation caused by the super typhoon regarded as the most destructive in history.

Arum said, “Nonito proved that he is a true Filipino. The big storm Yolanda came and caused tremendous devastation but the Filipino people picked themselves up and carry on, just the way Nonito did. He was losing on the scorecards, he needed a knockout to win and sure enough he got the knockout.”

He said the victory at a time of anguish was meaningful. He added “all credit to the Filipino people, the Filipino nation because they are going to pick themselves up from that terrible storm and they are going to rebuild everything.”

Arum told Musgni, “ I just want to tell you, because my company and I so love the Philippine people, Top Rank is donating P1 million for the area that has been devastated.”

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Donaire himself said he drew courage from the strength of the Filipino people in the face of twin disasters – the massive earthquake and the super storm that cut a swath of death and destruction in the Visayas and Mindanao.

He said Darchinyan was leading and “I thought I would quit because I was groggy my cheekbone was broken but because of what happened to our people I said to myself no matter even if I die I won’t surrender. I couldn’t give up.”

Donaire indicated Darchinyan was “much stronger this time and was ready” compared to their first clash when Nonito scored a spectacular 5th round knockout to win the IBF and IBO flyweight titles on July 7, 2007.

Donaire is expected in the Philippines after he has his cheekbone examined and takes a brief rest. He said committed to do “whatever I can to help and will pray for the people of Tacloban and all our countrymen.”

Boxing fundraiser in Australia

Over in Australia, Filipino Jack “The Assassin” Asis who now lives in Toowoomba, Queensland said he is deeply concerned for the welfare of his family and friends back home after the swath of death and destructions caused by super typhoon “Yolanda”, international code name “Haiyan.”

Stuart Cumming of The Chronicler reports that the 30-year-old heavy-handed Australian lightwelterweight champion, who won the title with a 1st round knockout over Josh King on May 21, 2011, is struggling to come to grips with reports of 10,000 deaths.

Australian-based Filipino fighter Jack Asis. (Photo courtesy of Ronnie Nathanielsz)

The lack of communication was the main problem as Asis and others in the Filipino community found it almost impossible to contact loved ones, relatives and friends in the almost totally devastated city of Tacloban.

Asis revealed he was able to contact his girlfriend Adelfa on Sunday night to confirm that she and their three-year-old daughter Angela were safe and unhurt. They live in the less-battered Bicol region.

Cummings reported that Asis was relieved to know that his friend and training partner Arnel Tinampay had survived although his home had seemingly been destroyed.

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“I am very sad," Asis said. "I’m worried about my cousin because his house is gone.” He expressed his frustration and not being able to be with his family and friends.

Asis, an exciting fighter with a record of 29-18-5 with 17 knockouts has won eight of his last nine fights with five coming by way of knockouts. In his last fight on October 4, 2013 Asia was held to a majority drawn by Japan’s Hirohito Fukuhara with two judges scoring it an even 94-94 with the third judge having Asis the winner by a wide 97-92 margin in a clash for the vacant WBC Asia Boxing Council Continental super featherweight title.

Asis recalled he had endured some terrible storms in a country that averages 20 typhoons a year including one in 2009 which flooded his home but said “I am surprised at the typhoon this year.”

Brendon Smith who trains as well as manages Asis is reportedly organizing a fundraiser to help collect money for the battered region.

Smith disclosed that there was growing support for a charity fight between Asis and 10 Toowoomba individuals each of whom would pay A$500 to face Asis for one round in the ring. The fundraiser is scheduled for November 24.

Smith said he “hopes to raise between $15,000 to $20,000.”

WBC launches relief fund

Meanwhile, the World Boxing Council has announced that it will reactivate its Asia Relief Fund to secure donations from the world boxing community for the victims of super typhoon Haiyan.

In a statement, the WBC said its members representing 165 countries “wish to join the Philippines during this tragic time” noting that the Philippines is “a boxing country with many heroes from the past and present.”

The WBC said “the boxing community of this great country is loved and respected  all over the world and there is consternation for the well-being of our friends, their families and friends.

It said the WBC will reactivate the Asia Relief Fund which secure funds during past tragedies in ASsia such as the 2004 Tsunami and the Japan disaster of 2011.

The World Boxing Council said that Angeles City based international referee Bruce McTavish who was recently honored as “Referee of the Year” for 2013 and his wife Carmen are heading a committee for the WBC and will inform the members of the ways they could assist.

The WBC invites all those who wish to make a donation to send it to such institutions as the Red Cross in their respective countries or make a donation through the WBC in the following accounts:

For Mexican Peso donations:
0897473219 (Clabe): 072 180 008974732192 Swift: MENOMXMT

For U.S. Dollar donations:
0897479985 (Clabe): 072 180 008974799850 Swift: MENOMXMT

Editor's note: The blogger's views do not represent Yahoo! Southeast Asia's position on the topic or issue being discussed in this post.