Manny Pacquiao: Living in the limelight

Joseph Herron Updated
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As Manny Pacquiao made his "Grand" arrival at the MGM Hotel and Casino on Tuesday, April 8th, the 5'6 ½" rockstar from General Santos City was greeted by his legion of adoring fans. The mob of spectators, which included and healthy mix of Filipino hopefuls and die-hard fight fans, seemed genuinely happy to see the return of the boxing icon. Although the fanfare and attention may seem difficult to deal with for any casual observer, especially when faced with the daunting task of handing Tim Bradley his first professional loss, Manny has embraced his role as a ring legend and admittedly uses his presence in the camera eye to his advantage.

"I've learned to keep my focus," states the 35 year old fighter from the Philippines.

"I am focused on winning the fight, and the fans and all the people motivate me. I want the fans to be satisfied with the fight. All glory and honor to God. I thank God for giving me everything...the fame, the wealth, and the position to help others."

It's a role that he accepts with humility and takes very seriously.

"Manny" director Ryan Moore explains why.

"The night of a fight, the entire country of the Philippines comes to a standstill. Literally over 100 million people stop what they're doing and they watch him fight. There's no traffic in the streets...there's no crime...everyone is glued to the screen to watch Manny fight."

"Manny is literally a symbol of hope to them. People gravitate to Manny because of his story and what he represents. Manny symbolizes everything that is possible in life. The potential of the human spirit."

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"Coming from abject poverty and becoming one of the highest paid athletes of all time...then becoming a singer, and an actor...then a congressman for the people. His life really exudes the idea that anything is possible."

On Saturday, April 12th, Congressman Pacquiao will enter the Grand Garden Arena at the MGM in Las Vegas, Nevada, with the hopes and aspirations of each and every one of his supporters attached to his psyche.

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Although one might view Pacquiao's public appointed responsibilities as a hindrance or an overwhelming burden for just one person, Manny views his mission from a very different perspective.

"It's a blessing," clarifies the eight division world champion. "All of this is God's will."

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