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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Manny Pacquiao to Be Honored, Named Gusi Peace Prize Laureate

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Manny Pacquiao will be honored for his humanitarianism on Nov. 24 in Manila, when the world boxing champion will be named a 2009, Gusi Peace Prize laureate.

"I am truly humbled by this incredible honor and I would like to thank the Gusi family and the foundation," said Pacquiao, 30, whose immense popularity in his country has reached Muhammad Ali-like proportions, in a press release. "To be included in such a group of accomplished humanitarians is beyond anything I ever dreamed of. They are inspirational."

A champion in six different weight divisions, and the award's only athlete among the elite group of 19 honorees from 16 different nations, Pacquiao is also a political force in his country, where he is running for congress.

Pacquiao also has braved the tumultuous conditions created by typhoons in the Philippines, where he has broken training to help save lives by delivering food into devastated areas."The one lesson my countrymen have taught the world during the recent typhoons is never to give up. Help each other and rebuild," said Pacquiao. "Nothing is impossible when we work together -- whether it's curing the sick, feeding the hungry or nourishing the souls and minds with education."

A resident of General Santos City, in the Philippines, Pacquiao (49-3-2, 37 KOs) recently landed in Los Angeles, where he is working out at trainer Freddie Roach's Wild Card Gym in preparation for his Nov. 14 challenge for the WBO welterweight (147 pounds) title owned by Puerto Rico's Miguel Cotto (34-1, 27 knockouts).

Their fight, to be contested at a catchweight of 145 pounds, will take place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao was mobbed by American fans at the airport in Los Angeles, proving that his appeal has crossed over into U.S. soil. Pacquiao also was featured in ESPN Magazine's 'Body Issue'.

The Gusi Peace Prize was established 22 years ago by ambassador, Barry Gusi, and his wife, Dr. Evelyn Gusi.

The award is bestowed annually upon distinguished individuals or groups, worldwide, for their exemplary contributions in areas such as peace and human rights, and, representing fields of science, medicine, academics, politics, business, humanities, philanthropy, journalism, religion, international relations.

America's lone honoree is Bob Filner, who represents California's 51st congressional district.

Source: http://boxing.fanhouse.com/2009/10/28/manny-pacquiao-to-be-honored-named-gusi-peace-prize-laureate/

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