Manny Pacquiao agrees landmark deal to develop boxing, promote fights in China

China’s Dancing Sports, an organization at the forefront of sports development in China, and Filipino senator and boxing legend Manny Pacquiao, recently inked a comprehensive agreement to develop and promote professional boxing in China.

Dancing Sports president Vincent Zhou and Pacquiao signed the agreement in an elaborate ceremony last December 2 at the Diaoyutai Hotel in Beijing which was attended by Chinese dignitaries and representatives from the Chinese media.

Part of the agreement was the establishment of the Manny Pacquiao International Boxing Academy (PIBA) in China envisioned to become an instrument to attract, train and develop Chinese world class boxers and to regularly promote professional boxing matches all over China.

“This agreement of course will definitely shower a new boxing era in our sports and will contribute to help realize our great potential in boxing,” Zhou said.

Pacquiao, who was in Bejing from Dec. 1 to 3 to also attend the Chinese Communist Party’s ‘World Political Parties Dialogue’ said, “Yesterday, I met with President Xi and Prime Minister Li Keqiang, and I am glad that the high level relationship between China and the Philippines is going further. President Xi’s Belt and Road initiative is very important, it will help countries along exchanges and cooperation at all levels across borders. It is not difficult to see that the signing of this comprehensive agreement is exactly the implementation of the two top leadership initiatives of China and an important action to promote cooperation between China and the Philippines.”

Zhou and Pacquiao jointly held its first promotion in China on September 29, 2017, a ‘by invitation only’ boxing event at the Heyuan Royal Garden Hotel in Beijing that featured Zhou’s prospect Lu Bin on the main event and undefeated former Olympian Mark Anthony Barriga of the Philippines on the main undercard.

Dancing Sports has calendared six to eight events for 2018 with initial promotion projected to be held during the Chinese New Year celebrations in February.

Among the Chinese dignitaries who were in attendance during the launching and signing ceremony included Feng Hope, secretary general of the Information Office of the State Council; Zou Yan, deputy director of the Department of the Ministry of Justice; Zhang Hong, secretary of the party committee of the Chinese Film Association; He Zhewen, director of the Anti-Doping Center of the State Sports General Administration; Zhang Wei, vice-president of the Beijing Sports University and director of the Sports Industry Office of the National Development and Reform Commission; Wang Guojun, head coach of China National Boxing Team; and Wang Tongzhou, general manager of China Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection Group.