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SEOUL, March 29 (Yonhap) -- A South Korean hall-of-fame boxer said Friday he has joined hands with a star Filipino fighter to organize regular boxing matches between pugilists from the two countries.
Yuh Myung-woo, a former two-time world champ, said he and Manny Pacquiao, considered one of the best boxers ever, have agreed to stage international matches, with South Korea and the Philippines taking turns as the host.
"Manny Pacquiao and I have agreed to hold the first series of bouts in the second half of this year," said Yuh, who'd returned from the Philippines earlier this week after discussing other boxing-related projects with Pacquiao. Yuh added that the matches will be held every three months in all weight divisions.
Yuh said he was accompanied to the Philippines by Kim Jin-ho, former head of the Korea Land and Housing Corp. who currently runs his own real estate development firm.
Yuh said Kim hopes to open a sports center in the special economic zone in the Philippines called Clark and name the place after Pacquiao. The Filipino boxer agreed to lend his name to the sports center, Yuh said.
"Pacquiao said he would like to see the new sports center develop into the mecca of boxing in Asia, much like MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas," Yuh said. "He and I have also agreed in principle to engage in joint promotion to hold world championship bouts in the new sports center."
Pacquiao, an elected congressman in his native country, faces an election in May and is expected to sign a formal agreement after the vote, according to Yuh.
Yuh also said Pacquiao has offered to help young South Korean boxers fight in the U.S. and other international locations and has accepted Yuh's invitation to visit South Korea in the near future.
Last December, Yuh became only the second South Korean to be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. A two-time light flyweight world champ, Yuh holds the record for consecutive title defenses in his weight class with 17. He retired at the age of 29 as a champion later that year with a 38-1 record, including 14 knockouts.
Pacquiao will most likely join Yuh in the hall of fame once his illustrated career comes to an end. Dubbed "Pacman," he is the first eight-division champion in boxing history.
Pacquiao, however, dropped his two most recent fights, losing to Timothy Bradley in a split decision in June last year and getting knocked out in the sixth round by Juan Manuel Marquez in December. The defeats have led to speculation that he will soon retire from boxing.
Pacquiao's record stands at 54 wins, including 38 by knockout, five losses and two draws.
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