Philippines congressman and Christian boxer Manny Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KO) will be fighting former world champion Brandon Rios (31-1-1, 23 KO) for the first time since he was knocked out last December. Unlike other boxers who become haunted by past knockouts, Pacquiaos said he is "more than confident" in winning the fight and alludes to the Bible story of how David defeated the much bigger Goliath with just one sling and a stone.
The "Clash in Cotai" is a 12-round welterweight boxing match that will begin at 6 p.m. PT (9 p.m. ET) on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013. It will be held at the Venetian Macao Hotel in Macao, China.
"I enter this fight stronger than ever. I have the strength of my country and my people coursing through my body," he said. "I fight for them, not for me. I fight for their glory, not mine."
Pacquiao has dedicated his fight with Rios to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. The boxing legend has relatives who are among those whose lives have been destroyed.
The Filipino icon hopes to lift his homeland by beating Rios in Macau in his first fight since losing to Juan Manuel Marquez 11 months ago.
"When I saw the news of the typhoon I was crying," he said, according to Daily Mail. "I felt so bad with what happened. After the fight, I'll be going there with more relief goods. I have relatives there. They're alive, but they lost their homes, everything.
"This has given me more inspiration and determination to win. I'm dedicating this fight to the families and people affected by the typhoon."
On Dec. 8 of last year, eight-weight champion Pacquiao was knocked out in the sixth-round by Juan Manuel Marquez in a Las Vegas match. "Some people think he's done," said Somodio, assistant to Pacquiao's coach Freddie Roach, the USA Today reported, "but some people who really know him, they think he's going to bounce back."
Pacquiao's Christian advisor Chris Aguilar from his vivid entourage, who appeared in two Chuck Norris movies and was a bodyguard for the ousted president Ferdinand Marcos in the 1980s, recalled seeing Pacquiao praying, "Glory to God, glory to Jesus."
Although he lost the match, Pacquiao submitted the loss as "all God's will," said Aguilar.
Pacquiao's trainer Freddy Roach also recalled how the Fighter of the Decade remained sharp while waiting for the ambulance to take him to the hospital. Pacquiao turned around and went to the bathroom to wash the blood off his face - a sign of still how sharp he was then.
At the hospital that night, Aguilar was among those charged with keeping the boxer awake as recommended for post-trauma. They stayed up from midnight until 10 a.m., and Pacquiao played chess with a judge.
Pacquiao scored a rare checkmate and the judge was incredulous, but Aguilar recalled Pacquiao saying, "It's not every day New Year's Day. It's not every day Christmas Day. It's like boxing. I believed I will win the fight but I lost," according to USA Today.
"I'm ready physically, mentally, spiritually, but God is the one who chooses the winner," Pacquiao said.
While sports analysts predicts that Pacquiao will win, the results will be unveiled as the two reigning world boxers fight for the win.