GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Revered Filipino boxing superstar Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao who has just returned to the Philippines after a 3-week hectic tour that brought him to New York, Los Angeles, London, Miami and Washington, received his WBO super champion belt from WBO Vice-President for Asia-Pacific region Leon Panoncillo Jr Tuesday night here at Pacquiao’s sprawling residence-complex.
The $10,000 WBO super champion belt embedded with swarovski crystals and diamonds.
The $10,000 worth diamond-encrusted custom-designed belt was awarded by the WBO to Pacquiao after the world’s only 8-division world champion and the WBO champion of the decade wrested back his welterweight crown from Timothy Bradley on April 12, 2014. According to Panoncillo, WBO president Francisco ‘Paco’ Valcarcel wanted to have the belt given to Pacquiao earlier but scheduling conflict and Pacquiao’s hectic lifestyle contributed to the delay.
WBO Vice-President Leon Panoncillo Jr (L) handed the belt to WBO super champion Manny Pacquiao at Pacquiao’s residence in General Santos City.
A super champion is a rare recognition given by the WBO, one of the world’s top governing bodies of boxing, to its champions who have achieved preeminent status while holding the championship belt. The WBO’s current super champions include heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko of Ukraine, junior heavyweight champion Marco Huck of Germany and light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev of Russia.
“This is great for the unification!,” Pacquiao, who has tendered a dinner for the WBO and selected guests, blurted out upon receiving the belt to the amusement of everyone present knowing that an elephant in the room – the highly desired and highly anticipated Pacquiao-Mayweather welterweight unification bout for the WBC and WBO belts – casts its huge shadow. Pacquiao later enthralled everyone by discussing the details of his one-on-one meeting with Mayweather and the many details of the ongoing negotiation. “But this is off the record,” he said.
Pacquiao poses with his belt as guests take photos from their cellphones