[by Dean Smith] The fight between Manny Pacquiao, 36, and Floyd Mayweather, 38, on Saturday, May 2, 2015 in Las Vegas has been billed the fight of the century. Whether it will end that way or not, the ticket prices are certainly there.
Though tickets were initially priced between $1,500 to $7,500, in the secondary market they rapidly escalated in value. Some tickets on the main floor of the MGM Grand were listed at $50,000 each. The median ticket price on SeatGeek was over $10,500 compared to just $3,290 for last year’s NFL Super Bowl tickets. This makes it the most expensive sporting event ever.
Boxing fans have been calling for a fight between Pacquiao (57-5-2) and Mayweather (47-0) to settle who is the undisputed best fighter in the world. Pacquiao now holds the position as the best pound-for-pound fighter and Mayweather is listed as second and was the former number one pound-for-pound fighter.
But many are unaware of Pacquiao’s faith in Christ. Manny is from the Philippines. Oddly he was born in the same town on the Philippine island of Mindanao as popular NFL hopeful and Christian Tim Tebow.
In an interview with Foxnews, Pacquiao said:
“God has a purpose. “He brought me back into his kingdom to use me to glorify his name, to let people know there is God who can raise the people from nothing to something.”
Born a Catholic, at age 14 Pacquiao started his climb to his current position of WBO welterweight champion. He has won 10 different world boxing titles.
However, he was caught up in the trappings of fame: drinking, gambling and sex. He still attended church, but between Sundays he lived the wild life.
It all started to change in 2011, when he received a letter from his mother telling him that his sister had stopped going to school because Pacquiao was no longer sending assistance. This letter jolted him as he realized he was spending all his money on himself.
A short time later, he had a dream that he described in an interview with CBN:
“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?’
“When I heard the voice of God I felt like I died. … I was in the middle of the forest 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.”
“I felt I was melting when I heard the voice of God. It was the turning point in my life. God spoke to me and he told me what He wanted me to do and I had to follow (Him).”
Though Pacquiao initially tried to ignore this dream, he started reading his Bible and saw that God spoke prophetically through dreams. He realized then God was speaking to him.
Manny has since accepted Christ and now attends an evangelical church. The decision changed his life.
In an interview with The Blaze, Pacquiao spoke of his born-again experience.
“When you accept Jesus Christ into your heart as your Lord and Savior, you have eternal life.”
He has also thrown his hat into the political ring and won a seat in the Philippine Congress in 2010 and was re-elected in 2013. Some suggest one day he may be in line for the Presidency of the island nation.
Manny told The Blaze:
“The Lord has blessed me [with] everything I have … [my] political career and serving the Lord and being a boxer — and I believe God has a purpose. It is behind my expectation and imagination. I think it’s time to proclaim his name, not mine.”