Manny Pacquiao wouldn’t be the legend he is today without the ferociousness of Mike Tyson influencing his astonishing career.
The eight-weight world champion learned the fundamentals of how to box by studying old tapes of Tyson back in the day.
‘Pacman’ honed his skills by watching the ‘Baddest Man on the Planet’ punching holes in people during the 1980s.
Born in 1978, a young Pacquiao was mesmerized as Tyson ripped through the division when the Filipino was still just a boy.
Tyson’s rise significantly impacted Pacquiao, as explained by his family members. Those who witnessed the birth of a legend.
“Manny had great self-discipline. He learns everything so fast. He practiced all the time, and he would get up at 4 am to go jogging,” said uncle Sardo Mejia to Red Door Media.
Mike Tyson tapes
“I used to go out and rent videotapes of Mike Tyson fights and show them to him. He picked up the tactics so quickly.”
Despite the apparent love of boxing, it wasn’t the first-choice career move for Pacquiao’s beloved mother.
“At first, she didn’t want her son to be a boxer. She said, “I want him to be a priest. But Manny told me he wanted to become a boxer because his family was very poor.
“He had no money to study at school or college,” added Sardo.
Another of the WBA champ’s uncles, Benito Bequilla, says that Manny Pacquiao is still just Manny Pacquiao despite his wealth and great prominence in his homeland.
“He’s just the same as he always was,” pointed out Benito. “God has given Manny all the love and grace. He always cares for his family and his relatives. I think the world of this man.”
Father Rosalio echoed how his son likes to care for anyone in need.
“Sometimes, it’s hard for me to believe all this is real. Before, we only ate bananas. Now we can eat anything we want to eat,” stated Rosalio.
“Our life was very tough when Manny was young. Most of the time, we had only bananas and root crops to eat. But when I made more money, I ensured my family ate rice.”
Pacquiao is now a multi-millionaire, earning nine figures when fighting Floyd Mayweather in 2015. He can still demand six zeroes, even at the age of 43.
A rumored clash with Conor McGregor fell apart. However, Pacquiao could earn over $10 million this year on the exhibition circuit,
Ironically, Mayweather and Tyson are two of the main protagonists of the new era of boxing’s involvement in sports entertainment.
Pacquiao could no longer give the top welterweights in the world any trouble, though, due to his inactivity from a political run for office.