Manny, many changes

“This is my last story about Manny Pacquiao!”

I have been saying that each and every time I write something about our very pound for pound king whenever he is entering the ring and beat the living daylights out of an opponent. The stories are running out. Aside from the tales of the tape, which the whole world already knows, there is really nothing else to tell. Not unless we divert our attention outside of the ring.

Focus: the born again glove child.

Yes, Manny’s “heightened” spiritual ways is very evident and gets as much media exposure as his training. With every move he makes, every interview he gives, quotes from the Bible accompany his statements. One of which got him into trouble with the LGTB (lesbian, gay, transsexual and bisexual) community who called out to the products he is endorsing to pull out of the contract and others banning him. He clarified his comments and said he had never cited the verse from Leviticus.

His renewed ties with the Lord have become a powerful weapon against sinful ways of the world – no late-night partying, no alcohol, no cockfighting, as he declared. Whether this will make him a better fighter in the ring or not remains to be seen.

Maybe it will. If he turns to 1 Corinthians 9:26, “So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air” and emulate the scripture, to him will be the glory. But if gets a blow on the face, does a Matthew 5:39 and turns the other cheek, kiss the belt (and your bet) goodbye.

Not all about Manny has changed though. There is one thing of Pac-Man’s that he stays true to. Even though he keeps saying that a fight will be his last because Mommy D. is pleading for him to retire, he never did. Maybe Emmanuel can’t (and won’t) stop collecting the coveted belts and the gazillions of moolah that come along with the titles. With all the fame and fortune that this sport can offer, would you retire? Not just yet, not while you still can hoard it in.

A lose to Bradley won’t be Pac-Man’s wake up call to retirement. Forget about a retirement plan for this year. Long before the exchange of punches, Top Rank chief Bob Arum already announced a rematch on November 10 should Bradley wins.

Arum explains in an interview with the Manila Bulletin,“This is the reason why I haven’t talked about any other fight with Manny other than this upcoming fight with Bradley. He is getting paid well in this fight and it’ll take care of his children, and if he wins and fights Pacquiao in a rematch, the money he’s getting will take care of his grandchildren.” (

This is all about the money, honey, and maybe this is why Mommy D.’s pleas fall on deaf ear.

So today’s prayers, novenas, invocations, kneeling and worrying will be in the comforts of her new luxury van, her loving son’s present for mom’s 63rd birthday, or maybe in her mansion. Wherever it is, Mommy D. won’t ease her grip on her prayer beads until the fight is over and his son is safe from harm. It would be nice if he wins the bout as well. Praise the Lord!

As for me, I won’t promise that this is my last story about the greatest boxer in history. There will always be something new with Manny, Jinkee and Mommy D.

Good luck on your fight today Manny! … Break a leg? …. Break a face?... Knock him down?... Maybe this will do, pretty much like your style- 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

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Published in Sun.Star newspaper on June 10, 2012.