After some well publicized issues with the tax man Manny Pacquiao is probably keeping a closer than usual eye on his finances, so the announcement this week that he had decided to become a small stake shareholder in ONE FC came as something of a surprise.
The eight-division world champion had never previously shown any interest in mixed martial arts but he has a relationship with ONE FC CEO Victor Cui that dates back almost four years and they have a number of mutual friends in the Philippines.
Cui was born in Canada but both his parents are from the Philippines and they spend much of the year in Cebu, a province which is renowned for its boxing and shares a local dialect with Pacquiao’s hometown of General Santos City.
While shares in ONE FC are currently not available on the open market Cui liked the idea of having Pacquiao on board and so personally reached out to the ten-time world champion and offered him the opportunity to own a small piece of the company.
The deal was sealed on Sunday at Manny Pacquiao’s second mansion in General Santos City after Cui spent the weekend with the boxer along with a number of mutual friends, including ONE FC cut man Salven Lagumbay who is a well known boxing judge in the Philippines.
Pacquiao’s career earnings are estimated to have reached the $42 million USD mark and he is notoriously busy but if his commitments as a Congressman, basketball coach, philanthropist and professional boxer allow then he plans to attend ONE FC’s event in Manila later this year.
There is also the possibility that MMA coaching will be introduced at Pacquiao’s two gyms, which are located in General Santos and Manila, and further talks are scheduled between the boxer’s team of advisers and ONE FC to look at potential ways of working together.
Although Pacquiao posed for a few photos in ONE FC gloves there is no suggestion that the boxer, who is set to earn at least $20 million USD from fight with Chris Algieri this September, is ever likely to try competing in MMA.
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