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24 Pacquiao

One of the many reasons that endeared Filipino ring great Manny Pacquiao to sports fans worldwide  is his humility. Never hear him speaks bad on anybody, not even guys whom he disposed of or one he’s about to face.

Pacquiao never promised to kick any man atop the ring. He lets the other guy do all the boasting. He simply gets in the ring and gives the other fellow a lesson how to be humble.

“He’s  never raised his voice, not once,” his former Sarangani Vice Gov. wife Jinkee swore in an interview. “I’ve never even heard him P….. i.. m., not once.”

The Pacman is battling unheralded Australian Jeff Horn on July 2 in Brisbane and to hear him talk, you’d think he’ll be the one challenging the champ, not the other way around.

“What do you mean Horn would  be easy picking? He’s young, yes, but he has a perfect, no-loss record in his resume,” Pacquiao told a few sportswriters in Tagalog in a brief interview when chanced upon during a game between his Team Mahindra and San Miguel Beer in the on-going A Commissioner’s Cup last Wednesday at the Cuneta Astrodome.

“You and I know that in boxing, anybody who won 16 of his 17 fights so far, 11 of them by KOs, is, certainly not a lemon, the reigning  World Boxing Organization crown-holder stressed. “I still need to prepare and prepare hard for the fight.”

Asked for comment on statements attributed to Horn’s camp that he (Pacquiao) has already had his days, the three-time ‘Fighter of the Year’ honoree of the Boxing Writers Association of America retorted: “If that will make them happy, so be it.”

“I have been in boxing for more than two decade and I always welcome those statements and comments because, for one,  they sell tickets which is good for promotion so, many fans will be lured to see the fights,” the two-time congressman now senator said rather philosophically.

“I also welcome reports that he’s been training hard. That’s good news because it means he’ll be giving me a good fight. Meaning, too, that fans will enjoy the fight,” Pacquiao added.

“That’s exactly is what boxing is all about. That’s exactly is what professional sport is all about. To make people happy,” the father of five with Jinkee explained.

“As for me, rest assure  that I will do the best I could do to prepare and give boxing fans what they expect of me,” Pacquiao vowed.

Pacquiao pointed out that, while boxing makes him what he is now, rich and famous, it is making people happy that makes him happier. That he has dedicated all his life in making people, especially the poor and downtrodden, happy and forget the problem confronting them.

“This also the reason why I am in the government service. To serve the people as a government servant. Being a boxer and a public servant is the only way I know to  repay our people for the support they’ve been giving me all my life,” he said. (Photos by Wendel Rupert Alinea)