1. If you add up all his recent earnings so far, plus put into the equation what he will earn in the next two years or so, Manny Pacquiao is well on his way to becoming “the only billionaire Filipino athlete in history,” as pointed out by renowned boxing writer Salven Lagumbay.
2. Manny’s first boxing hero was Ala Villamor. As a small boy, he would steal the transistor radio from his mom and would listen to the Ala Villamor drama played on the radio. That prompted him to box.
Edito “ALA” Villamor, Boom-Boom Bautista and Jingo Quijano
3. A study made by some amateur officials in Gen. Santos City years back reveals that Manny is the only known Filipino fighter whose heartbeat does not change even after several minutes of strenuous and rigorous activity. The only other fighter known to have this trait was the legendary Salvador Sanchez, touted by many as the greatest Mexican fighter of all time.
4. He has five nicknames: Pac-Man, The Destroyer, The Mexicutioner, People’s Champ and Pambansang Kamao (“National Fist”).
5. Last year, to prepare for his fight against Marco Antonio Barrera, Manny slept at the Waterfront Hotel and trained at the Rex “Wakee” Salud Gym. In all, the King of Boxing stayed in this Queen City of the South from Aug. 14 to Sept. 21—a total of 39 days.
6. His full name is Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao.
7. Log on to YouTube, type his name and you’ll be drowned by 1,990 videos.
8. Manny’s first-ever pro bout was a four-round victory (via decision) against Edmund Ignacio on Jan. 22, 1995—or more than 13 years ago. He joined the light flyweight division at a slender 106 lbs.. He was only 16 years old.
9. He has appeared in the comic strip Pugad Baboy.
10. “Pacquiao: The Movie,” starring Jericho Rosales ad released two years ago—on June 21, 2006—was expected to be a blockbuster. Instead, it was a flop. Armed with a P50 million budget, the heavily-marketed biography-movie grossed only—would you believe—a reported P4.8 million.
11. On the airwaves, meanwhile, “Para Sa ‘Yo Ang Laban Na ‘To” was a huge hit single. I remember, a few years back during the occasion of the Cebu City Charter Day when Manny was guest of honor, he sang this song and the thousands in attendance at the Cebu City Sports Center were entranced. Goosebumps, I’m sure, filled the arena.
12. If Manny wins today, he becomes the first Asian in history to win four world titles in four weight divisions.
13. Birth place? Kibawe, Bukidnon.
14. His has won 46 pro fights in his career, knocking-out 35 (that’s a high 76% KO rating). He also has two draws.
15. Losses? Manny has three: Rustico Torrecampo (on Feb. 9, 1996; at 110-lbs.), Medgoen Singsurat (Sept. 17, 1999; at 113 lbs.) and Erik Morales (March 19, 2005; he weighed 129.5 lbs.).
16. He has suffered only one knock-out—against Medgoen Singsurat in the third round of the bout held in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand. But technically, Manny had already lost that fight because he weighed more than the maximum weight of 112 lbs.
17. Today’s fight against David Diaz is the 9th straight bout where Manny’s facing a Mexican. His last fight against a non-Mexican was against Fahsan 3K Battery at The Fort in Taguig. I distinctly remember that bout because, together with many Cebuanos—the Aldeguers (Tony, Michael, and Christine), Rommel Manlosa, Manny Villaruel—we sat a few feet away from Jinkee Pacquiao (Manny’s wife) and saw how Manny threw a punch so devastating that it (literally, I swear) lifted his Thai opponent off the floor.
18. Manny is the second of four children.
19. Next to Bata Reyes and Django Bustamante, Manny is the third non-fictional Filipino featured in video games. The names… “Fight Night: Round 2” and “Fight Night: Round 3.”
20. Announced just last month (May 3), Manny will become the first-ever Filipino to appear in a postage stamp.
21. Manny is the first Filipino, and Asian for that matter, to be included in the mythical pound-for-pound top 10. And making it to the No. 1 list, as pointed out by boxing guru Joe Koizumi, makes him easily the greatest Asian fighter in history.
22. A short biography: “The second of four children, he became the man of the house shortly after his father left the family while Pacquiao was still in grade school. Faced with few other options, Pacquiao entered the workforce: At first, he sold bread and later engaged in street fighting for small purses. Fortunately, it didn’t take long before his skills were noticed and Pacquiao was invited to travel to Manila to further his fighting career. Living in Manila, away from home for the first time and 15 years old, Pacquiao worked in construction during the day and trained at night. That combination transformed him into a sleek fighting machine. One year later, in 1995, Manny began pro boxing at a slender 106 pounds.”
23. While Manny is reported to own a Porsche Cayenne Turbo and many more luxurious vehicles, David Diaz, who’ll get $850,000 for the bout, wants to use his prize money to buy himself a new car for his young family—his wife, Tanya, and their sons David, 3, and Elias, 1.”I’ve got a ’91 Honda that I’m still driving with no AC (aircon),” he said, “so hopefully after this fight, after this victory, we’ll be able to afford something better.”
24. He was born on December 17, 1978.
25. If you think Manny is all chummy-chummy with the RP media, think again. Last year, in August, after reading an article in Manila Bulletin written by Nick Giongco entitled “Trouble in Paradise—Again?” with the following words in the fourth paragraph, “Pacquiao, who spent millions in unsuccessful bid to win a congressional seat in his hometown in General Santos City, is reported to be a compulsive gambler and is known to bet hundreds of thousand in casinos, cockfighting, and billiards,” Manny fumed mad. He ordered his lawyers to file a P30-million libel suit about the Bulletin’s writer, sports editor, editor-in-chief and publisher. Good thing, four months later, owing to the kind-hearted Manny that we know, he withdrew the case.