Pacquiao inspired by Ali’s backing in Fight of the Century
Manny Pacquiao was light on his feet and ultra-quick with his fists during sparring session Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) at Wild Card Gym in Hollywood.
He was happy and inspired by the expression of support from “The Greatest.”
Thoroughly motivated for his megabuck bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. on May 2, Pacquiao got an additional inspiration Monday when Muhammad Ali, dubbed “The Greatest,” picked him to win the Fight of the Century slated at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“Hearing that he picks me over his compatriot is truly humbling and inspiring,” Pacquiao told Philboxing.com in Filipino. “I’ll do my best to live up to his expectation and that of the fans worldwide.”
A daughter of Ali, Rasheda, told TMZ Sports: “My dad is Team Pacquiao all the way. My dad really likes Manny. He’s a huge fan of his.”
“He knows Manny’s a great fighter but it’s more about what he does outside the ring,” added Rasheda. “He’s such a charitable person.”
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The feeling is mutual.
According to Pacquiao, he’s Ali’s No. 1 fan and holds in high esteem the former heavyweight champion’s achievements inside and outside the ring.
“In fact, he (Ali) serves as one of my inspirations in doing charity work outside of boxing,” Pacquiao told Philboxing. “He’s a man of principle and a good role model for us.”
Pacquiao showed his profound respect for The Greatest in 2012 when he graced Ali’s 70th birthday party in 2012.
While Ali sided with Pacquiao, another daughter and former boxer Laila Ali chose Mayweather to emerge winner of the welterweight division crown unification showdown.
“I’ll probably go with Mayweather because he is a skilled fighter,” Laila, who retired undefeated after 24 fights in 2007, told sportingnews.com. “He is a superior talent.”
“Pacquiao is a great fighter, but I always go with skills over just being a brawler like Pacquiao,” Laila added. Roy Luarca
For more updates on Pacquiao-Mayweather “Fight of the Century,” visit The Pacquiao Files.
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