With the fight of the century drawing near, many people are chanting, hoping, and even praying for Manny Pacquiao to win against his rival, Floyd Mayweather Jr. While it is true that more boxing analysts are saying that Mayweather has the greater chance to win, it is very obvious that Pacquiao won the heart of the masses, not just in his Native country, Philippines, but around the world.
In the Philippines, during his fight, crime rate temporarily drops to zero, enemies become friends, opposing parties unite, the streets are empty, rebel group stops fighting and even the whole country freezes.
What makes Manny so special? What really is in him that most people love? In this blog post, let me give you five reasons people love Manny Pacquiao.
Reason no. 1: He is not a sour loser
In his fight against Juan Manuel Marquez in 2012, Manny was hit hard in the sixth round and went out cold diving flat on the canvas. People were shocked and on the edge of their seat as they watched in horror. From first to sixth round, Manny was dominating the game until a “lucky” punch hit him right on his jaw.
This pulled Manny’s world ranking down. Most people even thought that his major sponsors would withdraw. To the surprise of many people, it didn’t happen.
Why? Because Manny accepted his defeat with dignity.
He did not put the blame on anyone but on himself. He did not make any excuse. He even congratulated Marquez even before the winner was announced after the bout!
The sad thing about it is that his mother, a deeply devout Catholic, blamed his new found religion (Evangelical Protestant) to be the reason he got knocked out.
Reason no. 2: He is a humble winner
Some people may argue with this but in all the fight of Manny (at least in his most recent fights), I never have seen him boast of his wins. Yes, he would be joyous and jubilant with every win, but he did not take the credit of himself. He never said, “I won because I am great”, but attributes his win to God.
Furthermore, during his interview, he would always point out how good his opponent is. He does not try to belittle his opponent even after beating them. He would even say sorry if he had hurt his opponent!
Reason no. 3: He sincerely follows God
There is no denying that in earlier life of Pacquiao, he was a womanizer and gambler. However, with his encounter with God, he was a changed man.
For the record, we don’t share the same belief, doctrine and faith but I just admire how Pacquiao apply what he knows is right. He follows God in the best of his abilities.
It is only Pacquiao whom I have seen kneeling at the corner of the boxing ring before and after his fight. It is only Pacquiao whom I have heard expressing his desire to share his faith to his opponent, especially MAYWEATHER!
Reason no. 4: He rose from poverty
Manny was a typical small boy growing up in the Kibawe, Bukidnon, Philippines. He had to work early in life just to help his family go by each day. When he was in sixth grade, his father left them after his mother discovered that he was living with another woman. He dropped out of high school because of extreme poverty.
Now, most people can relate to his story. It is not every day you find someone rising out of poverty and becoming one of the most popular and well-paid athletes in the world. Most people see Pacquiao as their role model.
Pacquiao’s story inspires people and makes them believe that it is possible to have a more comfortable life no matter where you are right now. With the right attitude, determination, and passion, people see Manny as a living example of what they can do and what they can become.
Reason no. 5: He is not just a boxer
Manny is not just any boxer. He is a congressman in the Philippines. He is also a military reservist with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Philippine Army. He is also an actor and TV host.
Though he was forced to drop out of school, he continued his education. He attained a high school diploma after many years being out of school. He achieved a college degree in business administration and Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humanities.
Above all these, he is a pastor in his local congregation. This I think is the best role he took in his lifetime.
Like any of us, Manny Pacquiao is not perfect. He is not perfect in the past and he will never be perfect during this lifetime. However, Manny is unique and special. Most people respect him for that. While I am not in agreement with everything about him, I am just as happy to see how he becomes a good role model to everyone and that is why people love Manny Pacquiao.
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