Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao says he’ll put his life on the line to help fight the coronavirus pandemic in his home country, Philippines.
Widely considered one of the greatest boxers of all time, ‘Pac-Man’ is an eight-weight world-champion.
A man of the people
Hugely popular across the world and renowned for his humility, Pacquiao entered Filipino politics in 2010. In 2016 he was elected as a senator and is serving a six-year term.
Reportedly inspired as a 12-year-old to get into boxing after seeing Buster Douglas defeat Mike Tyson, Pacquiao had a tough upbringing.
“The family were so poor they slept on cardboard boxes. His biographers say he ran barefoot in the hard-scrabble city of General Santos selling flowers and doughnuts until the age of 14,” read part of an article in the Independent.
Known as the ‘Peoples’ Champion’, Pacquiao is today worth around $220 million.
But he’s never let the fame get to his head and has donated to scholarships, hospitals, environmental causes, churches, and international charities.
Pacquiao doing his best to knock the coronavirus out
So it’s no surprise that he’s put himself at the forefront of the fight against coronavirus in the Philippines.
“If you are a leader, you have to be a front-liner,” Pacquiao told the Manila Bulletin. He added that he is “not afraid to die” to help his people.
“You have to lead people and let people see that you are with them. I grew up poor. I know what they feel.”
The boxing champ has donated approximately 600 000 face masks to frontline workers battling the coronavirus in his country.
He also partnered up with Alibaba owner Jack Ma to arrange a donation of 50,000 coronavirus testing kits for the Philippines.
The 57,600 test kits donated by the @foundation_ma
have landed in Manila!
We're in this fight together!
— Manny Pacquiao Foundation (@MPac_Foundation) March 27, 2020
“The reality is, a lot of people are not even in a position to dream about success. Because they’re too busy trying to figure out how they are going to survive tomorrow. People are struggling, and we need your help,” the Pac-Man wrote on Twitter.
As of April 4, the Philippines had a reported 3 094 confirmed coronavirus cases and a 144 deaths from the disease.
The Philippines is spread across more than 7000 islands and has a population of around 100 million people.
image featured: Wikimedia