Few are unfamiliar with the impressive performances and near impossible achievements of Manny Pacquiao’s legendary career. The story of a young boy from the Philippines who took to living on the streets selling doughnuts, sleeping on cardboard boxes, and fighting whenever he could for less than a dollar is one that has become a source of inspiration for people all around the world.
1) Manny Pacquiao was raised in a time of civil war. During a gun-fight between the army and rebel forces that took place just 500 metres from their home, 5-year old Manny witnessed an army soldier cutting off the head of one of the rebels. His mother then decided to move the family to the city of Sarangani for safety. It was there that Manny found boxing.
2) As a young child, Manny Pacquiao aspired to be a Catholic priest but decided to box instead to escape poverty.
3) Manny was inspired to turn professional after the death his close friend, Eugene Barutag, who was pronounced dead at a local hospital after collapsing in his corner after a gruelling eight-round boxing match.
4) When Manny started boxing professionally, he weighed only 44.5 kg and was just 16-years old (under the age limit for pro boxing). Desperate to box, he lied about his age and put weights in his pockets during the weigh-ins because he was too light for the minimum weight division.
5) Manny is the fourth among six siblings. His younger brother, Alberto Dapidran “Bobby” Pacquiao, was quite the boxer as well! He held a record of 31-15-3 with four national titles, the WBC Continental Americas title, and WBO Asia-Pacific title. Bobby continues to train with Manny at all of his training camps.
7) In recent years, and after converting to Christianity, Manny also began preaching to thousands as a bible ambassador back in the Philippines.
8) Manny is a world champion in 8 different weight classes, a previously unimaginable feat in boxing. Manny’s success in moving up in weight could be related to the fact that he has an 8-inch wrist. The average wrist diameter for a heavyweight is 7.69 inches. Heavyweight legends Joe Louis and Mike Tyson have the same wrist diameter as Manny!
9) Manny’s girlfriend and wife-to-be, Jinkee, was 6 months pregnant with their first child when she first attended one of his fights for the first time. Manny was knocked down during the fight, and Jinkee’s friends urged her to leave for the baby’s protection. Jinkee stayed on and watched as Manny recovered and won the fight by TKO.
10) When he was 13, Manny tattooed a boxing glove on his left chest, a tattoo he jokingly calls “ugly”. Manny also has the names of his wife and children tattooed on his left arm. He now owns a tattoo shop located in Los Angeles, California called “Manny Pacquiao Merchandise & Tattoo”.
12) Manny owns a Jack Russell terrier with whom he shares the nickname, ‘Pacman’. When he was younger, his pet dog was cooked and eaten by a friend of his father’s.
13) Manny is the only Filipino in 2009’s Time 100, an annual list of the most influential people in the world compiled by Time magazine. He was ranked No. 22 according to votes, putting him ahead of notable figures like Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey and the Dalai Lama. He was also one of the only few athletes on the list alongside Kobe Bryant and Alex Rodriguez.
14) Nearly the entire country of roughly 90.5 million in the Philippines stop to watch Manny’s fights. The police in Manila have said that the crime rate drops drastically during Manny’s fights.
Tell us, how well do you think you know Manny Pacquiao now?