[PHOTO AT LEFT - Pinoy champ: Newly crowned World Boxing Council super featherweight champion Manny Pacquiao shows his championship belt to his fans during his victory motorcade. Pacquiao beat Mexico’s Juan Manuel Marquez by split decision on March 15 in Las Vegas. Photo by Sarah Encabo]

MANILA, MARCH 26, 2008 (MANILA TIMES) By Eddie Alinea, Contributor - If Republic Act No. 8757, an act establishing the Philippine Sports Hall of Fame, shall eventually be implemented, newly-crowned three-division boxing champion Manny Pacquiao should be a strong candidate for elevation in the professional boxing category.

Passed by both Houses of Congress and signed into law by then- President Joseph Estrada in 1999, the law, authored by, among others, then Senator and basketball “living legend” Robert Jaworski, enshrines to the Hall the Filipino professional and amateur athletes, coaches and trainers who have distinguished themselves in their particular sports in international competitions.

But the law, like many others enacted by Congress, has yet to be implemented and gathering dust.

Pacquiao though looks beyond earning his place in the Hall. He wants to own the world.

For romping off with the world championships in flyweight, super-bantamweight and now superfea-therweight, the 29-year-old native of General Santos City has emerged not only the greatest fighter that came this shore but, likewise, the finest Asia has produced.

Not only has “PacMan,” as he is known to the local and international boxing scenes, become the only boxer in the continent to win titles in three different weight divisions, he is only the nearest to stash away with four, a feat not only last millennium’s “Boxer of the Century” Sugar Ray Leonard and closest rival for the honor Henry Armstrong had accomplished during their years.

As a 130-pound king, the PacMan, as boxing pundits predict, can easily make the 135-pound lightweight limit and beat everybody along the way to reign supreme in the category, which could be the eighth since starting as a junior-flyweight campaigner 13 years ago.

With the whole of Asia under his palm, Pacquiao, a father of three with wife Jinky, is now looking to own the world, starting with the lightweight championship held by American-Mexican David Diaz.

And even while the Diaz-Pacquiao match up is still under negotiations, his promoter Bob Arum and his Top Rank Promotions are already talking of pitting the three-division champ against welterweight king Ricky Hatton and possibly super-welterweight legend Oscar De La Hoya.

Pacquiao fought and had beaten everybody that crossed his path, including the best of them—Mexicans Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera, twice each, and Juan Manuel Marquez, once in two encounters—to further official lay claim as one of the best, if not the best pound-pound boxer in this era.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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