‘Fight Me Instead!’ Manny Pacquiao Dares Attackers of Asian-Americans

Manny Pacquiao poses for a portrait during a training session at the Elorde boxing Gym on May 19, 2017 in Manila, Philippines. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Boxer-turned-Philippine Senator Manny Pacquiao condemned a rise in violent attacks against Asian-Americans on Thursday.

Sen. Pacquiao, a legendary and still-active fighter who is the only boxer to win 12 major world titles across eight separate weight divisions, issued the following challenge to the “cowards” perpetrating crimes against Asians via his official Twitter account on April 1: “Stop attacking Asians who can’t defend themselves. Fight me instead!”

The senator, who is tipped to run for the Philippine presidency in 2022, shared the message on his Twitter account via four different posters written in English, Filipino, Chinese, and Korean. The graphic posters depict Pacquiao surrounded by several Asian victims of recent physical assaults in the U.S. The images include a screenshot of an attack on a 65-year-old Filipina woman in New York City on March 29, which was captured on nearby security cameras, as well as a photo of the man later charged for the assault, convicted murderer Brandon Elliot, 38.

The posters also included a screenshot of a suspect wanted for allegedly slashing Filipino-American Noel Quintana in the face with a boxcutter on the New York City subway on February 3. Quintana, 61, survived the incident but suffered various injuries to his face, which required 100 stitches to close the wound. The suspect in the face slashing remains at large, according to the New York City Police Department (NYPD).

“The individual is described as a male, black, 20-30 years old with black hair (afro); he was last seen wearing a black North Face jacket, red hoodie, blue jeans, red bandana, light color sneakers, and a brown Luis Vuitton face mask,” the NYPD told People magazine in late February.

“Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit tips on the CrimeStoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or on Twitter @NYPDTips. All calls are strictly confidential,” the police department added.

The Philippine Embassy in the U.S. urged Filipinos residing in America to “exercise utmost caution” on February 26 due to a “rise in attacks on Asian Americans” in various states.

“Filipinos are advised to exercise utmost caution in view of these incidents,” the Embassy said in a statement. “Those who experience attacks are advised to immediately call 911 to report incidents.”

“The Philippine Embassy and Consulates General in the United States appreciate the swift action taken by a number of local authorities to apprehend perpetrators of these attacks. However, we call on federal, state, and local authorities to further ensure the protection of persons of Asian descent, including Filipinos,” the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said in a separate statement.


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