The media and fan hype surrounding the upcoming fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. may be at full throttle, but former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow decided to visit the Filipino boxing champ during training camp in Hollywood over the weekend.
According to the Associated Press, Tebow was born in the Philippines to missionary parents. In addition, he and Pacquiao are committed, unapologetic Christians.
"Awesome being with my Filipino and Christian brother," Tebow wrote on Instagram.
"Good to be with my brother in Christ, Tim Tebow," Pacquiao wrote on Instagram.
Pacquiao spokesman told the Associated Press that Tebow and Pacquiao knew each other and embraced when Tebow visited the Wild Card Boxing Gym. In addition, promoter Bob Arum was also present; Pacquiao boxed seven rounds during the visit.
"Bob said when he left, Tebow was still there," Sternburg said. "They seemed to be getting along."
According to Lance Pugmire and Austin Knoblauch of the Los Angeles Times, the former Heisman trophy winning quarterback saw Pacquiao in his workout session, which typically lasts three hours. He talked to Filipino television network ABS-CBN about his impressions about the boxer.
"Manny's training session was phenomenal and inspiring," Tebow said.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Pacquiao and Tebow had dinner after the workout.
"The deeply religious athletes were seen having a 'fun' and animated conversation," Pugmire and Knoblauch wrote.
Trainer Freddie Roach was impressed by the encounter with Tebow.
"It was an unbelievable scene yesterday," Roach said. "Tim Tebow is a great competitor, a standup guy who embraces his responsibility for being a good role model. He and Manny shared a lot yesterday. It was terrific."
Arum issued a statement about the meeting between Pacquiao and Tebow. It was the first time both athletes have met in person, according to the Los Angeles Times.
"It was the first time they had ever met and yet it seemed they had known each other forever the way they immediately embraced each other," Arum said.
As for Mayweather, David Mayo of MLive.com reported that in his preparation for the fight against Pacquiao, he has been training with left-handed sparring partners at Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas. Two of those partners included former opponents Zab Judah and DeMarcus "Chop Chop" Corley.
"Everybody was just hyped because they thought Judah was going to be something different, but Judah was worse than the other guys," Jeff Mayweather said. "It seemed like Floyd had something personal against him."
Mayweather's uncle told Mayo that strength coach Alex Ariza, a former Pacquiao employee, has helped Mayweather prepare for his fight against the Filipino boxer. Jeff added that the change "is subtle, but it's a major difference for Floyd because he's never done it."
"Floyd's a beast," Jeff said. "The only thing I can attribute it to is his own strength, in his mind, and having a real strength trainer for the first time. Originally, I think Floyd got him (Ariza) just to mess with Manny's mind. But he knows Manny's history and his flaws and everything else."
The fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather is scheduled to take place May 2 in Las Vegas.