Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao, the greatest professional boxers of all time
To the world, Manny Pacquiao is a world-class boxer phenomenon. To his home country, Pacquiao is hope. A household name, Pacquiao rose from poverty to becoming one of the country’s richest.
Today, he lives at the uber-rich gated Forbes Park in Makati. He’s got several mansions in his hometown and owns a private resort in Sarangani. Amazingly, he was elected Senator of the Republic of the Philippines in 2016. But before all these, Manny was a starving wanna be.
The only thing Manny had was guts
To atheists, God is an opium for the poor masses, but God was everything for Pacquiao. Although guts were the only thing he had, at age 12, Douglas changed his life forever watching Tyson defeat. In 1995, he made his professional boxing debut as a junior flyweight at 16 years old.
On December 4, 1998, Manny won his first major title, the World Boxing Council (WBC) flyweight title at 19. Since then, Pacquiao became not just a sports hero but God’s messenger to his people.
In all these, his devotion to God kept him going. He was a devout Roman Catholic, and people took notice of his gesture kissing the rosary, praying, and dedicating each fight to God. However, his private life wasn’t all that godly.
“I went to church on Sunday, but from Monday through Saturday, I was in the bar drinking,” he told CBN. “I was gambling. Careless words came out of my mouth. I committed adultery. I didn’t care.”
Pacquiao’s relationship with his wife Jingkee was also tumultuous. Filled with jealousy and accused of womanizing, it came to a point he held a gun and she a knife, he said in an interview in 2014.
Manny Pacquiao’s dream
With all his success at that time, he got a letter from his mother, Dionisia. His sister stopped studying because he no longer sent money. “I cried, blaming myself for spending all the money on alcohol.”
That night, just a few weeks after he fought Juan Marquez in 2011, God spoke to Manny in a dream. “I heard the voice of God in my dream. His voice was ten times louder than thunder. He said to me, “My child, my child, why have you gone astray?”
In Manny’s dream, there was a forest full of flowers, and he saw two angels. He found himself at the center of the forest, kneeling and praying with his face on the ground. Then there was a bright light, and he heard God’s voice telling him what he needed to do.
Manny ignored it until he saw a Bible and read it. The first verse struck him because it was God’s story talking to a man in a dream. Then it all came back to him.
What followed was an encounter with several Christian and Christian pastors who began to mentor Manny
Although some people made fun of his gestures honoring God, it was big news when people learned Pacquiao became a “Born Again Christian” in 2010.
Since then, Manny Pacquiao has held his faith tightly. His relationship with his wife blossomed, he became even more successful in his boxing career.
Manny was never the same again after submitting to the Lordship of Jesus.
Since becoming a Believer in 2010, Manny has been outspoken about his Christian faith
When Pacquiao spoke at an ABS-CBN Christian fellowship in 2013, he said, “If you decide to follow Jesus Christ, may mga consequences yan (there are consequences), we don’t belong to the world, we belong to the Kingdom of God. We must accept the son of God as our Lord and Savior.“
True enough, his faith was tested soon after. His Christian testimony threatened by his defeat.
A test of faith
In 2012, Pacquiao suffered one of his career’s biggest losses after getting knocked out by Juan Marquez in the sixth round. His mother, Dionisia, came out on ABS-CBN pleading for Manny “not to change religion.”
She claims the Virgin Mary appeared to her when she was still pregnant. Therefore, Manny should remain Catholic. Clearly a test of faith, Manny held on not to a particular brand of religion, but his “personal relationship” with God.
He also lost his WBO welterweight title that year after losing to Timothy Bradley six months earlier.
In 2015, he lost to Floyd Mayweather, and although he won against “Bradley III,” he seemed to have lost his fighting spirit when he said, “As of now, I am retired,” in 2016. The next year, he lost to Jeff Horn.
With 62 wins over 7 losses in his 25 years boxing career, Manny is one of the greatest professional boxers of all time
With God’s grace, Manny rose like a Phoenix and soared higher, all for the glory of God. Although he lost four times after declaring his Christian faith, he also won 10 times and won 52 fights since he began on January 21, 1995.
Despite his billions and a string of success and titles, only the love of Jesus matters to Manny Pacquiao. Today, is one of the top 10 richest athletes of the decade.
More importantly, Manny declares God’s goodness and does what he can to help others rise from poverty.
Pacquiao was frowned by a few religious leaders who referred to him as a “lost soul” after leaving Roman Catholicism. His friendship with both sides of the political spectrum is heavily criticized.
Some netizens doesn’t spare Manny for his English rhetoric, candor, and his outspoken Biblical principles in the senate. Despite these, he’s unfazed and focused, as he has always been.