May 15 - Filipino boxers dream of going pro rather than for Olympic gold. Julie Noce reports.
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PLEASE NOTE THIS STORY REPLACES 2028-VARIOUS-FILIPINO BOXER (Headline: 'Filipino boxers dream of turning pro') WHICH NOW HAS BEEN WITHDRAWN FOR NVO CLIENTS AS IT CONTAINS VIDEO WHICH IS 'NO ACCESS INTERNET'
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As the London Olympics draw near, boxer Lorenzo Villanueva, is preparing for the fight of his life.
But like a lot of young boxers from the Philippines, Villanueva is more interested in world title riches than Olympic recognition.
Villanueva grew up in a life of poverty-- raising all his brothers and sisters on his own. He hopes boxing can help send them to college.
It wouldn't be the Philippines first rags to riches story... Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao whose rise to fame as the first man to win boxing titles in eight divisions, has inspired a nation of young boys to do the same.
But coaches say Manny's success story might have done more harm than good. The lure of money and fame from professional boxing is stronger than the dream of Olympic gold in amateur boxing.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) BOXERS' MANAGER AND FORMER GOVERNOR OF NORTH COTABATO IN THE PHILIPPINES, MANNY PINOL, SAYING:
"It's sad that up until today the Philippines, my country, has not won a world boxing title (Olympic Gold)in spite of the fact that we have produced so many boxing champions, great boxing champions, not just boxing champions."
Tonight, after a strong start Villanueva goes down in the 2nd.
For now it's back the Philippines where his dream of turning pro lives on.
Julie Noce, Reuters
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