Book about impact of Filipinos in boxing launched

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SAN FRANCISCO, California—The Yuchengco Philippine Studies Program (YPSP) at the University of San Francisco launches From Pancho to Pacquiao: Philippine Boxing In and Out of the Ring, a book that examines the economic and social contributions of a marginalized minority, Filipinos and Filipinas, to the history of boxing in the United States and the world.

The book is co-authored by the chair of the Philippine Studies Program, Jay Gonzalez, and adjunct professor and USF head boxing coach, Angelo F. Merino. From Pancho to Pacquiao will be launched on June 1 at the Social Hall of the Philippine Center in San Francisco at 5.30 p.m. with invited guests, world champion boxers Ana Julaton and the Donaires.

From Pancho to Pacquiao is comprised of very readable biographies of outstanding Philippine-born and Filipino American boxers, from Francisco “Pancho Villa” Guilledo to Manny “People’s  Champ” Pacquiao. Each story describes the rough roads these Filipino and Filipina boxers took to achieve global fame and glory. Vivid photos and personal interviews combine to make the narratives real and captivating.

“Besides Manny Pacquiao, there are many Filipinos who have made an impact on the history of boxing as a sport including middleweight Ceferino Garcia, minimumweight Chen-Chen Abaniel, among others,” said co-author Jay Gonzalez. “From Pancho to Pacquiao is the first and only compilation of world champion Filipino and Filipina boxers.”

The book is inspired by young boxers, especially those in the San Francisco Bay Area. Coauthors Gonzalez and Merino are known for their Philippine-style boxing courses. In the advanced classes, students learn Filipino culture and are trained to teach boxing as recreational and self-defense activity to at-risk new migrant population in the Bay Area. From Pancho to Pacquiao is being used as a textbook for these courses.

Members of the Filipino community and boxing enthusiasts are encouraged to attend the book launch. Each From Pancho to Pacquiao book purchased at the launch will be signed and dedicated by both authors.

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