Manny Pacquiao may be in the limelight for his upcoming match with undefeated champion Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Still, the Filipino boxer has taken every opportunity to openly voice his faith.
"I heard the voice of God and I saw two angels," Manny said to The Blaze back in January. "When I heard the voice of God I felt like I died. ... I was in the middle of the forrest and I was kneeling and praying with my face on the ground and then I saw a light, a very white light and I heard the voice."
Raised in an impoverished household, Manny ran away from home after his father allegedly ate the family dog. According to trainer and friend Freddie Roach, Manny's father had been in a drunken rage during the incident in question. The senior Pacquiao has since then denied killing the animal.
At age 14, Manny made his way to the Filipino capitol of Manila where he sold donuts to survive. He also sent money home to his mother - who by then had separated from his father. The money was being used to help raise his other siblings. Pacquiao's mother is so religious that she wanted Manny to become a priest.
Eventually, the aspiring boxer made pro and began making a steady living. Even so, Pacquiao began struggling with alcohol abuse, womanizing, and gambling.
"I went to church on Sunday, but from Monday to Saturday I was in the bar drinking," he admitted during an interview with CBN. "Careless words came out of my mouth. I committed adultery. I didn't care."
One night, Manny received a heart-wrenching letter from his mother. His sister had to quit school because he stopped sending money home.
"I cried, blaming myself for spending all the money on alcohol," Manny recounted. "On that night, I heard the voice of God in my dream. His voice was ten times louder than thunder. He said to me, 'My child...my child...why have you gone astray?'"
Pacquiao subsequently forgot about the dream, until the day he started reading the Bible. "The first verse I read said that God talked to man through dreams," continued Manny. "And, so I realized, 'Wow, my dream was real.'"
The boxer has since then forgiven his father, and is in the process of building the older Pacquiao a new home. Besides being active in competitive sports, Manny is serving as an elected official in his nation's government. He also holds daily Bible study at church, and has begun memorizing passages by heart.
Pacquiao is married to his wife, Jinkee Pacquiao, since 2000. They have five children: Emmanuel Jr, Princess, Israel, Queen Elizabeth, and Michael. The three boys and two girls range from ages one to 14. All of the couple's children were born in their native Philippines except for Queen, who was born in the States.
Pacquiao and Mayweather is scheduled to face off this Saturday evening at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.