By Eddie G. Alinea
Believing in Biblical tenet that those “humbled shall be exalted and those exalted shall be humbled,” World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao has said he would rather pray for ring rival Floyd Mayweather Jr. than answer the continuous tirades the latter has been dishing out in his direction.
“Ipagdarasal ko na lang siya (I will just pray for him),” Pacquiao quipped in a conversation with this writer during the Philippine Sportswriters Association Awards Night where he appeared as a special guest Saturday.
The only man to win eight world titles in as many weight divisions was asked to comment on Mayweather’s demolition statements branding him as coward, a punk, “Miss Pacman”(meaning gay) and, lately, even an idiot.
“Kilala na naman ng lahat ng tao sa buong mundo kung sino si Manny Pacquiao, so bakit ko pa pabubulaanan ang mga sinasabi nya (Everybody knows me already so what’s the use of denying what he’s been saying),” the 33-year-old Ring Magazine pound-for-pound king reasoned out.
“Nobody would believe that I am a punk, a coward, a gay and much more an idiot, so why bother to answer him,” Manny Pacquiao said. “Doing bad things to others is not good. Anybody doing that to others will be answerable for what he’s been doing. The best thing to do is to pray for them.”
“What I would just do is pray for him that he change his attitude in life. That although what he believes that he’s one of the best boxers in this era might be true, there’s one guy who’s better than him and He’s Somebody up there, God,” Pacquiao, who himself has been very vocal to have turned into Bible-reading, said.
“I’ll pray that he realizes that what he’s been doing, not only to me but to everyone who he doesn’t like, is wrong. And I’ll pray that may God continue showering him with all the graces he deserves to get,” he said.
“And most of all, I’ll pray that nothing serious in terms of injuries or adversities happen to him in the course of his pursuit of his career,” Pacquiao stressed. “
“As I have been saying, he has contributed a lot to the sport we both love. So sana maipagpatuloy niya na gawan ng mabuti ang boksing, in particular, and sports in general.”
The self-proclaimed changed man also put into God’s hands as to whether his much-awaited duel with Mayweather, which has been aborted for the nth time, can still be realized.
“As I have also been saying, boxing is my profession. I fight because that’s one way I can make people happy. If God wants me to make more people happy by facing Mayweather atop the ring, I say amen to that,” the father of four with wife Jinkee said.
“I don’t like to sound repetitious, but you yourself knows that God has been very, very good to me. He has given me everything and more that a man of my humble beginning could ask for,” he said. “What I have accomplished as a boxer will be talked about for many years, maybe for the next 30, 40, 50 or even 100 years from now.”
“And as I have said before, God made me a public servant through government service. Maybe that’s what He likes me to be when I get out of boxing, so that will be the main focus of what I will do the rest my life after boxing,” Pacquiao said with glitter in his eyes.