PUERTO PRINCESA - KIA Motors and the PBA stand to benefit greatly should Manny Pacquiao beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. in their highly-awaited welterweight title clash on May 2 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, the owner of the expansion franchise said on Friday.
Palawan governor and KIA owner Jose ‘Pepito’ Alvarez believes the worldwide exposure the 36-year-old boxing great will get from the megafight will have trickle-down benefits not only to the KIA franchise but also to Asia’s first play-for-pay league as a whole.
A win over the unbeaten American from Grand Rapids, Michigan could even further boost the status of the company as one of the world’s leading automotive brands, he added.
“Oo, malaki ang maibibigay niyang popularity sa team namin, worldwide ang exposure eh,” a smiling Alvarez said following the courtesy call to his office by the PBA delegation which is currently here for the All-Star game.
League media bureau chief Willie Marcial, who has been here as early as Monday as part of the PBA’s advance party, said he was happy and proud to have chanced upon a CNN feature on Pacquiao and his stint in Asia’s first ever play-for-pay league as playing-coach of the Elite.
“Nakakatuwa kasi napanood ko `yung feature ng CNN kay Manny, ipinakita yung mga laro niya sa PBA. Malaking bagay yun,” said Marcial, who gave the top US cable news network access to Pacquiao during KIA’s game against Talk ‘N Text.
“Hindi lang naman PBA ang maipapakilala nun sa mundo, kung di yung basketball talent at potential ng mga Pinoy. So we are happy that the fight (versus Mayweather) will finally happen and that Pacquiao is the other half of one of the biggest boxing fight cards ever,” added the amiable league official.
Alvarez believes Pacquiao has a very good chance of inflicting the first ever career loss of the 38-year-old Mayweather.
“I believe Manny will win. He is the better boxer, kumpleto. Mabilis, malakas sumuntok, saka hindi mo alam kung san nanggagaling mga suntok niya,” said the outspoken Palawan governor.
But whatever the outcome of the match, Alvarez said KIA will always be Pacquiao's team and the giant-killing team will always be synonymous to the 'Pacman.'
“Ito, win or lose siya kay Mayweather, sa kanya na itong team na ito. Magiging team na niya ito. Team Kia is Manny Pacquiao,” said the Columbian Autocar Corporation chief executive officer.