. . . continued from Part 1
Boxing – Ben Delgado, who was one of Manny Pacquiao’s earliest trainers in the 1990’s, shared the following in a 2011 interview.
In the mornings, young Manny would run to Luneta from the LM Gym. He’d leave at 6 am and be back by 8 am. In the afternoon, he would practice his boxing skills; and rest on evenings. Each morning, he’d go through the same routine.
I had pity for young Manny back then. Because he had no money, he could only afford to eat three pieces of bread and hot tea. That’s the only thing he ate all day. It was sad. I felt sorry for him but there was nothing I could do because both of us had no money.
In those times, we were literally [physically] very hungry. What Manny went through was really extreme. And that’s what made him all the more impressive to me. Those three pieces of bread were small. What we went through, there was a lot we had to endure.
Thus, this journey involved an underaged runaway who was too small; who didn’t have the proper nutrition; who trained in a dirty gym amidst an oven-like heat, while using worn-out or inappropriate equipment. Mr. Delgado continued:
Because Manny was so poor back then, he had to endure being forced to use whatever boxing equipment was available for him to use. Who in the Philippines gave him the proper equipment? Whatever he had to wear, he had to endure it. He had no one to ask.
Young Pacquiao left his various odd jobs to train full-time. Boxing, then, was no longer “just a sport” – it was a do-or-die proposition that determined whether or not there was going to be food on his table in Manila, as well as, food on his family’s table back in General Santos.
With no money, the underaged, skinny runaway could not fail.
When young Manny trained, he no longer had a part-time job. So Manny’s only source of income came from fights. As he became more popular through local television program Blow by Blow, he began to fight every month.
Still, Mr. Delgado adds that Pacquiao remained generous after harvesting the fruits of his labor.
The way Pacquiao is, when he had money he’d spend it. But he also always helped others with it.
Manny’s amateur career involved dozens of undocumented, unrecorded bouts:
Pacquiao had about 50 fights as an amateur, and 45 of them were knockouts. Calculate that. That means, even then, he had explosiveness. And with all the trainers he went through, Manny was able to develop his power.
Back then, he went through about six trainers, and he was able to develop as a boxer . . . . Out of all the elderly trainers, I’m the only one left who’s alive. The other elderly trainers have passed away.
Manny did not lose any of those 50 amateur fights. They ended either in a knockout or technical knockout. He had an amazing amateur record but they were undocumented because they were local fights.
Young Pacquiao faced older boxers. You had to be 18-years old to be a professional boxer in the Philippines, which Pacquiao wasn’t at the time. Thus, many of his bouts went undocumented.
Local officials also prevented young Pacquiao from getting inside the ring (and thus, from making a living) because they didn’t want him to get hurt.
Back then, I was already impressed with Manny. He had unbelievable commitment to training, and he was truly dedicated to practicing. Just look at how he was back then.
But all the managers turned him away because he was too small for the 105 lb. weight minimum. But young Manny never got discouraged.
Pacquiao intended his trip to the United States to be a vacation.
When he came to the States, his original intent was merely to travel around America as a tourist. He wanted to see the country because he’d never been here before . . . . In 1999, I was living in Florida – I was at the gym of Roy Jones, Jr. Then I got a call that Pacquiao was in the States for a vacation so I flew to Daly City, California.
I met Manny and [manager] Rod Nazario at the house they were staying at. I also met Marty Elorde and attorney Sydney Hall. Atty. Hall gave me money for the plane ticket so he could meet Pacquiao.
They held a meeting and decided to make Sydney Hall the business manager. It was Hall who called promoter Murad Muhammad in New York to tell the promoter about this certain Filipino boxer called ‘Manny Pacquiao’.
The Sarangani congressman faces junior welterweight titlist Timothy Bradley (28-0) on June 9th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Back to Part 1
Copyright 2012 Marv Dumon. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed. All rights reserved.
Daily Quote: Proverbs 10
24 What the wicked dread will overtake them;
what the righteous desire will be granted.
25 When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone,
but the righteous stand firm forever.