Instead of focusing on his boxing championships, role as a congressman in the Philippines, or why he goes by the nickname “Pacman,” HBO’s promotional series 24/7 decided to highlight what they call Manny Pacquiao’s “religious awakening.”
The episodes, which are fueled by Floyd Mayweather’s money station, illustrate many interesting topics in the lives of professional fighters. Some of these topics include motivations for fighting, family life, and personal problems.
When it comes to Pacquiao, HBO took a closer look into his recent religious activities. As a result, they found a story filled with faith. In fact, Pacquiao told HBO that he hated the old self, which he felt was marked by drunkenness, gambling, and emptiness.
Just at the Bible states: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV). Pacquiao also believes that he is a new creation in Christ.
He even added a spiritual advisor to his boxing team and personally sought to fix problems in his marriage. His wife told HBO that their relationship went from half trust to a full trust relationship because of Pacquiao’s belief in Jesus.
HBO also documented other visible ways Pacquiao is putting faith into action like hosting a bible study after his work out sessions and closing down pool halls he financed. His family and friends also say hotels and his home are no longer filled with an atmosphere of drinking or smoking.
Still, others seem to be doubting if his faith is for real. His spiritual advisor admitted to HBO that some have questioned if this was for political gain, but he reassured everybody Pacquiao’s perspective has changed.
Pacquiao even asked if fighting others for a living was a good idea. This revealed to his advisor that true faith is at the heart of this awakening. To Pacquiao, this religious awakening is not about religion at all but rather about his relationship with God.
Watched the full episode
Pacquiao is set to fight undefeated Tim Bradley on June 9 at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, NV.