Manny Pacquiao wasn’t always a superstar boxer with respect from the sport worldwide.
Pacquiao was toughened up by a harsh upbringing when the former pound-for-pound king was a youngster in his native Philippines.
The 43-year-old knows how to take a punishment, something that stood him in good stead for the future.
Firstly, turning to box to get him out of the Filipino slums, Pacquiao fought his way to superstar status.
Relative Emirina Edrina outlined how strict Pacquiao’s mother could be when dishing out punishments for wrongdoing when he was growing up.
“Once, when he was seven or eight, she tied him to a coconut tree for half an hour. She let him get bitten by ants as a punishment for not coming home on time. He didn’t cry,” she revealed to Red Door News via The Daily Mail.
Pacquiao was forced to bounce back from this kind of tough love with abundance.
“Manny quickly learned from experiences like that and was devoted to his mother,” added Edrina. “The family was very poor.
“They lived on bananas and root crops. They had no rice most of the time. Manny wore ragged clothes. It’s hard to imagine that he is so rich and famous today. It is like a dream.”
Young Manny Pacquiao
Uncle Benito, who was instrumental in honing Pacquiao’s childhood passion for fishing to help his family, recalled how the generosity grew as the ‘Pacman’ became more famous.
“When he comes to visit, we go out fishing together for a few hours. Even though he is a famous man and a busy (politician), he never forgets us.
“This is his home, and he loves to come back here. Manny will come to the village, and he will take me to one side and whisper in my ear, ‘Uncle, I will give you 15,000 pesos (£230), or I will give you 20,000 pesos (£307)’.
“When they were growing up, Manny and his family used to collect stale bread and heat it to sell. They were very poor, but we always helped each other.
“If they had no rice and we had rice, we would share our rice with them,” he added.
One of the shining beacons of charitable light in the sport today, Pacquiao’s achievements outside the ring will always match that of the inside.
Furthermore, his legend continues to expand.