Manny Pacquiao has been described as both mild-mannered and hard-hitting, a soft-spoken man who happens to have a crushing left hook. What stands out as more telling about the boxer’s character though might be how he has deeply inspired his countrymen, and become a national hero in his native Philippines.
The past two weeks have been a highlight reel in the boxer’s life, no easy feat considering his exciting bouts and that he has captured titles in four weight divisions, as well as the attention of the world. First he was selected to the TIME 100, the world’s most influential people. Then there was that impressive second-round KO against Britain’s Ricky Hatton, cementing his status as one of the greatest of all time. And to top it off, the Philippines’ government has declared this coming Friday, May 8, a national day of celebration to honor the champion.
Said one government official, “Pacquiao’s spectacular victories show the world the best in the Filipino and that his determination and love of God and country exemplify the indomitable Filipino spirit … and inspires the Filipinos to have resiliency and dedication to triumph against all odds.”
Pacquiao’s reach beyond the boxing ring includes giving back to the community he grew up in. He’s recently given generously to victims in the Philippines after the country was hit by last year’s devastating Typhoon Frank. Last month, he threw out the first pitch at the San Francisco Giants game for the annual Filipino Heritage Night. In a scene that was described as “eerily similar to fight night”, thousands of fans cheered on the boxer, and the baseball team raised roughly $50,000 for charity.
He also started The Manny Pacquiao Foundation last month, with the mission to help improve the lives for all of his countrymen and women in the Philippines.
How you can get in the game:
Make a donation to The Manny Pacquiao Foundation