“Out of 10 children, there will only be one or two of them who really wants to pursue boxing,” said trainer and coach Edito Villamor.
“I hope just one of two of them will (succeed),” he added. “Just one or two of them and we’re good.”
One of the hotspots of boxing in the Philippines is Pacquiao’s hometown, General Santos City in the nation’s south.
Regular tournaments put plenty of contenders on display, and serve as a magnet for fighters from other areas.
“We look for the potential of the boxer whether he wins or loses in a fight,” said promoter JC Manangquil of Sanman Promotions, which has 40 fighters including 12 who have won international titles.
Once they take on a boxer, the real work of training and shaping begins. It can take years, and many fighters don’t make the grade.
“People always think that what we do is very simple — one fighter gets big and famous and gets money,” he said. “But they don’t know how we reach that after many boxers who failed.”
PHOTOS BY DANTE DIOSINA JR