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“Don’t tell God that you have a big problem, but tell your problem that you have a great God”– Manny Pacquiao
Sometimes, some people get so far that they forget how they got to where they are. Manny Pacquiao is perhaps the most revered sports figure in Philippine Sports history thanks to his ring exploits, pugilistic brilliance and crowd-pleasing aggressive fighting style. As much as he is an exceptional athlete however, Pacquiao is also beloved for the manner in which he conducts himself outside the ring. Before he ever conceived of even donning the label of a seven division world boxing champion, Pacquiao was being hailed as The People’s Champion for his gregarious personality and humble demeanor. But the one thing that truly stands out about Pacquiao is his faith. From day one, Pacquiao has attributed his success to his faith and has made it a point to humble himself and whatever achievements he may have accomplished to THE MAN upstairs.
Perhaps that is why even despite the astronomical rise Pacquiao has had, and even during times when he is hit with controversy, the Pac Man has remained steady. During times when big-named sports figures like Floyd Mayweather Jr. make headlines for the wrong reasons, it’s refreshing to know that there are still truly admirable role models we can look up to in sports. When Mayweather was hurling racial slurs and baseless allegations about him being on steroids, Pacquio remained silent and handled himself with class. So it’s only fitting that months after the same incriminating allegations that Pacquiao continues making good news as a boxer and lawmaker while Mayweather has been hurling hate comments and making tabloids as a lawbreaker.
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Earlier this week, Pacquiao expressed his concern over former opponent Ricky Hatton’s recent battles with drugs. Pacquiao described Hatton as ‘a friend’ in his column at Philboxing.com.
“Kaya naman nang nalaman kong nagpabaya na at nagpakalulong sa bawal na droga ang aking nakalabang si Ricky Hatton ng England, lubos ang aking kalungkutan sa sinapit ng aking kaibigan. Opo, kaibigan ang turing ko kay Ginoong Hatton dahil sa labas ng ring, alam kong mabait at masayahing tao si Ricky.”
“When I found out about my former opponent Ricky Hatton of England losing his way and his addiction to illegal drugs, I was deeply saddened by the fate of my friend. Yes, I consider Mr. Hatton a friend because outside the ring, I know Ricky is a good and fun-loving person,” Pacquiao wrote.
According to Hatton’s dad, the Mancunian boxing hero “had struggled to come to terms with his crushing defeat by Manny Pacquiao, 31, in just two rounds in Las Vegas last year.” The Daily Star also wrote that Hatton checked into the exclusive 47-bed Priory clinic in Cheshire after he was filmed taking drugs in a Manchester hotel two weeks ago.
Pacquiao also had these words of wisdom for Hatton: “Don’t tell God that you have a big problem, but tell your problem that you have a great God.”
Pacquiao’s gesture drew praise from his promoter Bob Arum, who’s son John was found dead at the Washington Mountains a couple of weeks ago. “That is the kind of guy that Manny is,” Arum told Michael Marley. Pacquiao is dedicating his next fight against Antonio Margarito on November 13 to Arum’s son.
Whether you’re one of his millions of fans or detractors, and whether you buy into his image and actions, Pacquiao deserves to be praised and commended for conducting himself in a highly respectable manner. He is truly a role model any country can be proud of. And it’s only fitting they call him the Philippines’ “National Treasure”.
Dennis “dSource” Guillermo is a freelance sports writer. You can contact him via e-mail at [email protected]
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