'Napakalaking inspirayson yung dumating siya' - Eduard Folayang on Manny Pacquiao
Santino Honasan on Apr 22, 2017 11:20 AM
""I'm so happy na dumating, napakalaking inspirasyon yung dumating siya." - Eduard Folayang on Manny Pacquiao (Photo courtesy of ONE Championship)
Right before the Honorio Banario - Jaroslav Jartim bout at ONE Championship: Kings of Destiny began Friday night at the Mall of Asia Arena, a portion of the crowd began to chant an all-too familiar chant in Filipino combat sports.
"MANNY! MANNY! MANNY!"
As it turns out, eight-division boxing world champion, Philippine senator, and ONE Championship shareholder Manny Pacquiao was in attendance, and was making his way to the locker room to give the night's main eventer, Eduard 'The Landslide' Folayang a little pep talk before his fight.
Following Folayang's grueling five-round title defense against Malaysian challenger Ev Ting, the Team Lakay star shared the "Pambansang Kamao" told him.
"I was encouraged. sabi niya, 'You are one of the legends of MMA in the Philippines, I wish you good luck. We're here to support you."
Coming from likely the biggest name in Philippine combat sports, that's really high praise, and for someone who people are slowly considering as Philippine MMA's counterpart to Pacquiao, it had to be a really special moment.
"I'm so happy na dumating, napakalaking inspirasyon yung dumating siya. Akala ko sa TV ko lang makikita, biglang andito na." Folayang said. "That's really a big deal, dumarating yung mga tinitingala nating mga atleta. It really encourages us."
Friday night, Pacquiao, who's also preparing for a title defense of his own against Australia's Jeff Horn later this year, was like the thousands in attendance at the Mall of Asia Arena and the millions more watching at home, they were all out to support Folayang, who was making his first title defense and his first fight back in Manila since absorbing a devastating KO loss back in 2014.
"Napakapalad nating mga Pinoy dahil madami tayong mga atleta na kumbaga sumusuporta parin, kahit different kinds of sport." said Folayang.
It was a big night for Folayang. It was a big night for Pacquiao. More importantly, it was a big night for Filipino MMA.