George Foreman did it and so did Mike Tyson. Now it’s the turn of Filipino boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao.
Voted “Fighter of the Decade” for the 2000s by the Boxing Writers Association of America, Pacquiao is the 2011 WBO Welterweight Champion. He’s at the top of his game but, as he told journalists this week, he’s thinking of retiring from boxing because of his new-found religious faith.
“It’s not right that I share God’s word and at the same time hurt other people.”
According to Interaksyon.com, the online portal of the TV5 network, Pacquiao might hang up his gloves as soon as this June — after his scheduled fight against undefeated American boxer Timothy Bradley.
Quoting a report from the Philippine News Agency, Interaksyon.com adds that the 33-year-old boxing icon has also turned his back on gambling and is spending more time with family and friends studying the Bible. A close ally of the prize fighter describes him as a “changed man.”
Pacquiao started taking Bible lessons last November after his fight against Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez, which he won. The Catholic Church later named him ‘Bible Ambassador.’
The eight-time boxing champion is also a member of Parliament, a game show host, and an occasional actor. He has appeared and has even sung a number of times in ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live.