Correcting a misconception I see sometimes on the forum. I've spent many years in the Philippines and continue to go back for various personal and business reasons. Pacquiao is popular in the Philippines, but boxing itself is not. The truly popular sports in the Philippines are basketball, billiards and badminton. Hardly anyone participates in boxing. There are no community boxing clubs. The average person cannot name boxers other than Pacquiao. On the remote chance that he is familiar with anyone other than Pacquiao, the average person can name far more NBA players than boxers. Talking about guys like Donaire, Viloria, Sonsona, Bautista and Mayol with the average person will get you blank stare. There are boxing gyms like Red Corner and Elorde but relatively few people join. For all the hooplah over Pacquiao, boxing is still seen by the majority as an activity for the gutter class. Do you know what combat sport is truly becoming more popular in the Philippines? MMA. UFC PPVs are shown live for free on Philippine cable, and with half a days' delay is shown on regular free TV. TV ratings for MMA are very high - much higher than for comparable boxing shows like Blow by Blow. Recently 5,000 people showed up a Philippine mall just to watch Chuck Liddell work out for an hour. Local MMA shows, despite being poorly organized and having marginal talent, manage to draw several thousand attendees at a time. In contrast to local boxing shows, a lot of the attendees are middle and upper class, and fair proportion are women. In retrospect it's easy to explain why - boxing (aside from Pacquiao) has zero visibility, whereas Filipinos are exposed to Asian martial arts from a very early age. Arnis, the Filipino stickfighting art, is a staple physical education course from the 1st grade onwards, as are Judo and Karate. Aikido, Muay Thai, Yaw Yan, Wushu - while not part of the standard curriculum like the aforementioned three arts - have clubs in almost every school and community. Almost every Filipino kid owns a balisong - a Filipino folding knife - and knows a few knife tricks. Everytime someone talks about the decline of boxing in the US, someone inevitably says, "Well, it may be less popular in the US, but it's really popular around the world," and they point to places like the Philippines. Well as to the Philippines at least, from firsthand experience I can say that is not true. MMA is growing, boxing is not. This in turn makes me wonder how popular boxing is really in places like Easter Europe where supposedly people like the Klitschkos are reviving boxing. Could the situation be like that of the Philippines, where celebrated boxers temporarily gain tremendous popularity, while having almost zero impact on the growth of the sport itself? I have been following combat sports since I could tie my shoelaces. My first idols were Duran, Benny "the Jet" Urquidez and Superfoot Wallace. It is still very early in the game, but I sense a paradigm shift taking place, and I think the boxing community is sticking its head in the sand.