The media buzz has been intensifying within the highly anticipated boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. Now the Filipino boxer has made some surprising comments about the upcoming fight.
In an interview conducted by Katie Couric of Yahoo! News on Wednesday, Pacquiao elaborated on the upcoming event, which is projected to break previous revenue records for a boxing match. The overall total has been estimated around $400 million.
"It's once in a lifetime," Pacquiao said. "This fight is really big, really important, especially in my country."
Boxing trainer Freddie Roach noted that unlike previous opponents, Pacquiao did not think highly of Mayweather. In fact, the boxer is looking forward to taking down Mayweather's perfect, unbeaten boxing record.
"It is the first time that we're going into a fight where Manny doesn't like his opponent," Roach said. "We've been waiting five years. Why hasn't this happened yet?"
Pacquiao expressed to Couric that with God's help, he had "100 percent confidence" that "[The Lord] will deliver him into my hands." Couric, who appeared skeptical about his answer, then asked him to describe Mayweather in terms of his fighting style.
"He has a good defense," Pacquiao said. "We did a lot on how to break that defense. Boxing is not about defense, it's about also offense, throwing a lot of punches. That's how you win."
According to Couric, Pacquiao grew up in extreme poverty in the Philippines, earning $2 for every fight he won and $1 if he lost. Even though he would make over $100 million in the upcoming fight with Mayweather, Pacquiao found a way to stay focused on what's important.
"My focus right now isn't about money," Pacquiao said. "It's about how I get in shape 100 percent, and you know, do my best in the ring and give the people what they want."
Couric commented on how the people of the Philippines gathered whenever Pacquiao had a boxing match. She described the phenomenon as akin to "a national holiday" in that country.
"I want to bring honor to my country, and I don't want to disappoint them," Pacquiao said. That's why it gives; the responsibility is turning to motivation, encouragement, to focus to train hard like that."
Pacquiao, who is a devout Christian and the father of five children, talked to Couric about how he lived his life before finding God.
"I drank, womanizing, gambling, everything," Pacquiao said. "But when I surrendered my life to the Lord, when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and savior, I surrendered my whole life."
Pacquiao's attitude of humility also extended to the training sessions with Roach at the Wild Card Boxing Gym.
"When we talk about training, I set aside [that entire] ego and submit to failure because he's the boss," Pacquiao said of Roach. "He's the boss in training."
Roach described the professional relationship with Pacquiao as "fun."
"We have a lot of fun doing it," Roach said. "He's working just great. He works really hard. And the process just goes on and on and on."
Regardless of how the fight plays out on May 2, Pacquiao indicated to Couric that he's not putting away the boxing gloves anytime soon.
"If I feel something, then I will tell you and say I'm retired," Pacquiao said.
Couric then asked him whether or not running for president of the Philippines would be in his political future. He currently serves as a representative in the Philippine Congress.
"I don't know," Pacquiao quipped. "It's in God's hands. The Lord raised me from something to nothing, and we don't know. We don't know what is tomorrow. "
According to USA Today, Pacquaio told news media on Wednesday at his training headquarters at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood that he wanted to pummel Mayweather in the ring and have a Bible study with him after the fight.
"I just want to send this message to him - nothing personal," soft-spoken Pacquiao said. "We're just doing our jobs. And after the fight, if I could talk to him, I want to share the gospel of God. I want to share to him about God, why we need God."