Tuesday, March 21, 2023  |


Manny Pacquiao dedicates Mayweather fight to fellow Filipinos


MANILA, Philippines – Saturday in General Santos City, Philippines, was a busy day for Manny Pacquiao. The fight he had wanted for six years against Floyd Mayweather Jr. was finally signed and sealed.

Pacquiao, who had been running and shadowboxing for days leading up to the announcement, promptly reported to his Pacman Wild Card Gym for the first day of light training for his May 2 date with destiny.

At the end of an exhausting day, Pacquiao spoke with GMA News, acknowledging the burdens of a country whose hopes he will carry with him to the ring at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

“This fight, the title of this for me here in the Philippines, is, ‘I will fight for the Filipinos,'” Pacquiao said in Tagalog.

The 36-year-old Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 knockouts) has rebounded from two consecutive losses in 2012 with three straight wins. He’ll be facing an unbeaten fighter in Mayweather (47-0, 26 KOs) who has lost just one scorecard in his entire career.

Yet while Mayweather is fond of saying that there is no blueprint to defeating him, Pacquiao feels he has a good idea of where to start.

“I know very well what to do in training to prepare for his style. I don’t think I will have a hard time, especially because my preparation for my last fight will be similar to what I will do for this fight.”

Pacquiao disagreed with assessment earlier in the week from his trainer, Freddie Roach, who felt the fight with the soon-to-be 38-year-old will be less exciting than it would’ve had it happened earlier in their careers.

“I don’t think it will be boring because he wants to prove himself too; he also wants to win. I believe this will be a good fight.

“My message to the Filipino people is, ‘Thank you to our Lord for allowing me to become an instrument to help bring honor to the Philippines and all of us Filipinos, and of course thank you to the support or our fellow Filipinos and their prayers.'”

Translations by Jane Bracher/Rappler