He has been called the greatest Asian boxer, the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. He was the second highest-paid athlete in 2015. And he is one of the great compassionate philanthropists of our times.
Out of his own pocket he has paid for 1,000 homes to help out underprivileged people from his home town. Earlier this year he wrote:
I’m so happy giving this houses free to my constituents in Sarangani Province from my own pocket. More than thousand families are the beneficiaries.
Manny Pacquiao knows what it’s like to have nothing. He once lived it. He grew up in a time and place where the next meal was never guaranteed. He quit school at the age of 10. Some days, he said, he only drank water because there was no food to be had. His family of seven lived in a cardboard shack. He left home at 15 and spent many a night on the mean streets of Manila, scrounging for food and shelter as he tried to make a career in boxing.
“I feel what they’re feeling because I’ve been there,” he told USA TODAY Sports a few years ago. "I’ve slept in the street. That was my life before. So hard. That’s why I feel what they’re feeling right now.”
His promoter, Bob Arum has talked about how people would line up by the thousands around his home in the Philippines as he gave away much of the millions he earned from his fights in the U.S.
The Star reports that the born-again Christian was even more inspired to help poor families after duking it out with Floyd Mayweather. Though he lost the boxing match via decision, he still earned millions of dollars in the ‘fight of the century’ and felt it was his duty to give back. He wrote:
As faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms, each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others. I’m still building more because I always believe what the Bible says to offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
That is the spirit of true Christianity.