There’s no doubt that whenever Manny Pacquiao fights, time literally stops in the Philippines. The roads become clear, while crimes almost become non-existent during fight day.
But more than that, dreams are built along the way.
One cannot deny the lasting imprint of the world’s only eight-division champion’s on the current generation of athletes. In one way or the other, he has been a reason behind their choice to pursue this brutal craft.
And what about current IBF World Super Flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas, who only dreamed of training alongside Pacquiao when he was a kid? He is now co-headlining the Brisbane card alongside his hero.
Once he heard about this, Pacquiao was delighted to have been part of Ancajas’ success.
“Yes, I’m supporting him. We helped him from the beginning and we’re so proud now that he’s a champion and he is doing well in boxing,” shared Pacquiao, who is fighting in his 68th career bout on Sunday against Jeff Horn.
Pacquiao’s influence is not only limited in the boxing ring as local mixed martial artists have also referenced the boxing legend as their inspiration growing up.
Former boxing champion and now-UFC fighter Jenel Lausa drew a big boost after serving as Pacquiao’s sparring partner, and emerged victorious in his UFC debut.
Reigning ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard Folayang, perhaps the most successful homegrown MMA fighter to date, put up a masterful performance in front of Pacquiao, successfully defending his crown last April.
To him, it’s a testament that Filipinos have what it takes to excel in the fight game. As he steps back into the ring this weekend, a grateful Pacquiao vows to continue becoming a role model to them, both in and out of the ring.
“It’s my privilege and honor that they’re looking up to me and I’m their inspiration so I will continue to be an inspiration to them,” the Fighting Senator declared.