Manny Pacquiao Moves to Join Soldiers Fighting ISIL in Philippines
Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao has declared his readiness to join soldiers fighting the so-called Islamic State terrorist group ravaging parts of the Philippines.
Already a source of inspiration to many Filipinos, Pacquiao, 38, made the pledge during a visit to inspire troops who have been fighting an ISIL-backed Islamist insurgency in Marawi City for the last two months.
Dressed in military fatigues, the eight-division world champion visited Camp Ranao in the Southern Philippines where he attended a briefing with senior Army officials.
The Sun reports that Manawi City, a 90 minute flight from the capital Manila, has had 400,000 residents displaced as insurgents, flying the black flag of ISIL, have unleashed terror on the city.
In a speech to the troops, Pacquiao who is a serving senator in the government, drew parallels between their situation and boxing, calling on them not to quit.
“I want to join you in the fighting, would you like that?” He joked.
“Don’t surrender, because the same as in boxing, we’re in the last three rounds and it’s almost over.”
Amid worsening conditions in the city, Pacquiao took out time to hand out aid to the soldiers as well as chat with them and take pictures.
“You are the real heroes, not Manny Pacquiao,” he added.
“I am just a boxer but you give your lives for our country.”
The boxing superstar is a lieutenant colonel in the army reserves and remains one of Philippines’ favourite sons.
He is yet to rule on his future in boxing after losing his welterweight title in a shock, albeit controversial defeat to Australian Jeff Horn last month.
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