President Rodrigo Duterte has commended the Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) for providing an opportunity for aspiring boxers to achieve their dreams.
Duterte sent his mes-sage during the 55th OPBF annual convention held November 9-12 in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan.
“The commitment of the organization to boxing throughout the region is truly noteworthy,” said Duterte.
“Let this event streng-then the federation’s re-solve to produce some of the best boxers in Asia and Australia. With unity and cooperation, I am confi-dent that you will help usher in a better future for the boxing world,” added Duterte.
Duterte said that he is also “proud of the Philip-pines’ legacy of excellence in the field of boxing.”
“From Pacho Villa to Manny Pacquiao, our champions have shown us how dedication and hard work can help us overcome challenges and reach the pinnacle of the sport.”
“Indeed, they became national inspiration for Filipinos and other peoples in the region.”
The eight-division world champion Pacquiao, on the other hand, also sent his warmest greetings to the members of the OPBF.
“I join you in conduc-ting this meaningful gathe-ring. Always be mindful that I am with you every step of the way while taking into account your welfare,” said Pacquiao, who is now an elected Senator of the Philippines.
“May you continue to be an inspiration to others to live a life that is anchored on discipline and sports-manship,” said Pacquiao.
Meanwhile, separate messages were also given by party-list representa-tives Mark Aeron Sambar (PBA) and Rodel Bato-cabe (Ako Bicol), Depart-ment of Health OIC Un-dersecretary Herminigildo Valle and Puerto Princesa City Mayor Lucio Bayron.
“Federations, such as the OPBF, are one of the main reasons why this country remains to be full of hope in this sport,” said Sambar.
“We at Ako Bicol Party-list support the endeavors of the OPBF in strengthening the industry of professional boxing in the Pacific region,” said Batocabe.
“We recognize the need for the further im-provement of the industry of the sports of boxing in order to maintain its status as a premier sports indus-try in the Pacific region and to advance the welfare of all our Filipino boxers,” he added.
DOH OIC Valle said hopes that “professional boxing throughout the region will continue to advance and provide net-working opportunities for all participants.”
“The sports commu-nity is one of our newest partners as we seek to concretize our vision of All for Health for All. Reaching out to the unreached, those living in geographically isolated and difficult areas, in institutions, brings us closer to our goal of univer-sal health care,” said Valle.
Bayron thanked the OPBF and the host Games and Amusements Board (GAB) for choosing Puerto Princesa City as the venue.
“May this convention build strong foundation for leadership and ethics to fortify sustainable develop-ment in the field of profes-sional boxing all over the region,” said Bayron.
GAB Chair Abraham Kahlil “Baham” Mitra said that he is delighted to be as the new president of the OPBF. He succeeded for-mer GAB Chair and OPBF President Juan Ramon Guanzon, who is now the OPBF secretary general.
“We will continue to make great strides in pro-moting further develop-ment that will bring us to how we envisioned our OPBF… bigger and better,” said Mitra. LDR