Pacquiao to fellow boxers, athletes: ‘Humble yourself’
The gloves were off and the suits were on as past, present and future stars of Philippine boxing aligned Sunday night in the 18th Gabriel “Flash” Elorde Boxing Awards and Banquet of Champions at Okada Manila.
Eight-division champion and Senator Manny Pacquiao was the guest of honor and speaker during the event that feted fast-rising star Jerwin Ancajas, Marlon Tapales and Milan Melindo as Boxers of the Year.
“I’m very happy to be choses as one of the Boxers of the Year. It gives me more motivation to fight seeing other world champions especially sir Manny, who I really look up to,” Ancajas told INQUIRER.net in Filipino.
In his speech, Pacquiao, one of the most decorated boxers of all time, reminded his fellow boxers and athletes to keep their feet on the ground amid fame.
“Most of the time, when a person becomes more and more popular they develop arrogance, pride and ego and become full of themselves which is wrong,” Pacquiao said in Filipino.
“The secret of Manny Pacquiao is the more you become successful, the more you humble yourself. Understand what is success, understand what is responsibility,” he added. “With great power comes great responsibility. Don’t be arrogant. That’s the problem with athletes. The most important thing is to humble yourself before God and others.”
The 39-year-old Pacquiao stressed the importance of having a positive outlook.
“We don’t give up because we’re positive thinkers. I never think negative, I always think positive. Whatever your dream is, never think that you cannot do it,” said Pacquiao, who also didn’t forget to honor Gabriel “Flash” Elorde.
Elorde was one of the greatest champions during his time in the 1960s.
“Gabriel ‘Flash’ Elorde is our inspiration. He’s the example to remind us to keep rising our personal standards.”
The former WBO welterweight titleholder also likened athletes to eagles with their laser sharp focus and unwavering determination to achieve their goals.
“As boxers, we encounter adversities but we’re not afraid to go through those trials. Our goals and dreams are greater than obstacles and problems in life,” he said.
Pacquiao and Bernabe Villacampo, a former world flyweight champion in the ’60s, became the latest Filipino boxing greats to have their fists casted.
The casts will be finished in gold and enshrined in the Gabriel “Flash” Elorde museum.