MACAU – He doesn’t only look like Manny Pacquiao, but he does idolize too, the boxing legend from the Philippines.
Instant star Kwanpichit Onesongchaigym admitted he wants to be like Manny and is hopeful he’ll be able to achieve even just a bit of the success accomplished by the Filipino ring legend.
And the initial step towards that direction is for him to beat local hero and two-time Olympic gold medalist Zou Shiming in the undercard of the Pacquiao-Chris Algieri welterweight title match this Sunday at the Cotai Arena here.
“He is happy for the opportunity to fight in the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Chris Algieri fight and is honored to fight the great Zou Shiming,” said World Boxing Organization (WBO) Asia-Pacific president Leon Panoncillo, who acted as interpreter of the 33-year-old native of Buriram, Thailand.
Kwanpichit, whose been attracting the attention of media and fans here for his resemblance with the reigning WBO 147-lbs champion, disclosed that for the past two years, basically everyone in Thailand are coming to him and saying he looks like Pacquiao, whom he considers as his favorite fighter.
“Manny is his idol. He wants to imitate the way he (Pacquiao) fights, the way he looks, although he’s not as heavy (weight) as Pacquiao. He likes the idea of looking like him,” said Kwanpichit through Panoncillo.
While the Thai knows Pacquiao for a long time now, the eight-time world division champion didn’t know he has a ‘mini-me’ from Thailand until they came face-to-face during the final press conference for the fight against Algieri.
“Pacquiao didn’t know him until they met during the press conference,” Panoncillo said.
Kwanpichit is unbeaten in 27 fights, with 12 KOs and has hopes of becoming a world champion someday like his idol, who incidentally, won his first world title in 1998 when he knocked out a Thai fighter in Chatchai Sasakul to claim the World Boxing Council flyweight crown.
“He wanna be the best in his country so he imitates Manny Pacquiao,” Panoncillo said.