Since the phenomenal rise of boxer Manny Pacquiao to global stardom his life has been put under a microscope. He has been praised by supporters and criticized by detractors. Nevertheless, it is undeniable that many people view what has been documented about Manny Pacquiao as a microcosm of the ideal Filipino spirit – his dedication to hard work in perfecting his craft, his sense of family and community, and his sense of humility and compassion.
In a recent interview with Jeremy Schaap of ESPN’s E60, Pacquiao stated, “Before (the 2003 fight with Marco Antonio Barrera), I only trained for one month… it’s not enough. My name is getting bigger in the United States... I have to prove to show them that I’m the best fighter.” In fact, long-time trainer Freddie Roach who has guided many world champions (such as Mike Tyson, James Toney, Bernard Hopkins, and others) considers Pacquiao’s work ethic as the best he has worked with.
Meanwhile, Pacquiao has always remained close to his roots, his sense of family and community. In a profile on HBO’s 24/7 series leading up to his fight with Dela Hoya this month, there was a touching scene where he enjoys a proud moment with his wife, Jinky. Together they were listening to heartbeat of their unborn child.