SINGAPORE - Singapore billionaire and philanthropist Peter Lim arranged for Philippine Senator and boxer Manny "Pac-Man" Pacquiao, the former eight-division world champion, to meet Singapore's Universal Boxing Organisation (UBO) title-holder Muhamad The Chosen Wan" Ridhwan in Singapore on Tuesday (Oct 17).
Lim, Pacquaio, the Crown Prince of Johor Tunku, Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, and Ridhwan all shared a meal together ahead of Ridhwan's groundbreaking bout against Namibia's Nataneal Sebastian at Suntec Exhibition Centre on Friday (Oct 20).
The meeting was arranged by Lim to motivate Ridhwan who will be fighting for the International Boxing Organisation (IBO) international super featherweight belt.
Ridhwan, who turned professional in 2016 and has amassed an undefeated record of 7-0-0 to date, won his world super featherweight title in May.
The 30-year-old said: "In boxing, we always have someone who's in the ring with us in our corner. In my boxing career, there have been a few people who have always been in my corner.
"Mr Peter Lim is one of them. I'm very touched that he went out of his way to arrange a meeting for me with Manny Pacquiao a week before my fight for the IBO title. Needless to say, the meeting was very special to me."
Lim believes that Ridhwan has a strong chance of winning Friday's fight.
While giving him an encouraging pat on the back during the closed-door session, Lim told the undefeated Singaporean that, "It's all in the head. You can win it".
During the hour-long meeting, Pacquaio and Lim shared their experiences with Ridhwan. Pacquaio and Ridhwan also had a frank exchange on the growing boxing scene in Asia.
Lim, who is the majority shareholder of Spanish LaLiga football club, Valencia, also spoke to Pacquaio about the latest changes at the Mestalla, with the side currently riding high in the league table, second behind Barcelona.
The Singapore Olympic Foundation-Peter Lim Scholarship, whom Ridhwan was a recipient in 2011, aims to help sports talents from humble backgrounds to achieve their sporting goals and also helps to support high-performing athletes to pursue sporting excellence.
Besides Pacquiao, Lim has also brought football luminaries like Cristiano Ronaldo, Jose Mourinho, Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville to the Republic to inspire Singapore's young sporting talents.