By Manny Pinol
Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, who is also the Congressman from Saranggani, the TV host, the singer, the basketball player, the billiards shark and many more, is taking on a new persona – a media mogul.
To start his venture into the communications business, Pacquiao has already established a radio station in General Santos City which he hopes will be the first of the projected 100 or so radio stations that will be set up all over the Philippines after he has acquired a congressional franchise to operate a radio network.
In the first quarter of 2012, a new international boxing magazine, “The Boxing World Quarterly,” which will be printed by a new multi-million peso printing press that Pacquiao has opened also in General Santos City and managed by his wife, Jinkee, will be published with an initial circulation of 30,000 copies.
BWQ, the quarterly boxing magazine, while printed in the Philippines, will have international writers from all over the world and will be distributed worldwide through mail order and during the Pacman’s big fights in Las Vegas.
Pacquiao has asked me to be the editor-in-chief of this new magazine and I accepted on the condition that there will be no employer-employee relationship and that I will handle the project only in its infancy and turn it over to a more experienced editor when the time comes for me to move on in life.
To support me in the publication of this boxing magazine, I have taken in my former colleagues in journalism, including those who at times were critical of Pacquiao.
Respected sports columnist Recah Trinidad of the Philippine Daily Inquirer will be the real editorial workhorse as he will act as the Editor of the magazine.
Former Inquirer sports editor Al S. Mendoza is on board while I also intend to extend invitations to Philippine Star columnist Quinito Henson, www.philboxing.com writer Eddie Alinea, writer-photographer Dong Secuya who owns www.philboxing.com and The Manila Standard columnist Ronnie Nathanielsz to join the magazine’s editorial staff.
Manny initially reacted when I mentioned the name of Nathanielsz, who was very critical of his last fight against Juan Manuel Marquez, but I prevailed on him by telling him that the magazine should carry diverse views in the sport.
With the help of American boxing writer Keith Terceira, we were able to recruit international boxing writers and the list of correspondents includes the husband and wife team of Butch Gottlieb and Mary Ann Owen, who both own the popular website “Boxing in Las Vegas,” James Blears in Mexico, Ace Freeman in Canada, Jonny Hips Stapleton from Ireland who will cover Great Britain and Ireland, Thomas Newman in Germany, Ryan Songalia in New York and Dr. Ed dela Vega in Los Angeles, California.
More international writers are expected to join the editorial staff as the new boxing magazine moves on.
“This will be my legacy to the world of boxing,” Pacquiao told me when he approved the idea of publishing a new boxing magazine.
Pacquiao and I agreed that the new magazine should not compete with the established The Ring Magazine which is published by his former opponent the Golden Boy, Oscar dela Hoya.
The new magazine will just present the other side of boxing that the US-based The Ring has failed to cover, especially boxing in Europe, the USSR, Australia, South Africa, Asia and the southern part of South America.
For the first issue, the cover story will be an exclusive interview with Manny Pacquiao and his plans for the future and what he sees of his life beyond boxing. The cover photo will be a computer generated composite of the many personalities of Pacquiao.
Early on, I am already having a lot of challenges working with a personality whose mind is on a lot of concerns and whose attention span is very limited owing to the many activities in his life.
But I love the challenge and relish the opportunity of being able to give my word of advice to one of the most bull-headed personalities I have known in my entire life.
For example, he gave me a long look when I told him that I believe that the radio station that he set up in General Santos City could have been overpriced, a comment which earned a positive reaction from his wife, Jinkee.
“I have long suspected that. I will look into that,” Jinkee told me in front of Manny.
So, here comes Manny Pacquiao on a new path in life en route to becoming a communications magnate.