Manny Pacquiao, 33-year-old Filipino congressman and pugilist who currently holds a welterweight championship belt, recently spoke about his career goals outside of boxing and how the Bible has helped him find balance.
While preparing for his bout on June 9 against the undefeated Timothy Bradley, Pacquiao spoke about balancing his congressional and boxing schedules in an ESPN report.
"I am lucky in that I have the ability to be mentally organized and able to follow a schedule. Training for a fight or being Congressman takes a great amount of discipline individually, but when combined, I have to be very diligent in sticking to planned schedules," Pacquiao explained. "I work with dedicated team members who help me make the most of my time. But I enjoy doing different things because I find the overlap improves my productivity and creativity."
While Pacquiao said he holds most of his training camps while Congress is in recess, he makes sure to stay in constant contact with members of his congressional staff. The pugilist also credited trainer Freddie Roach with helping him maintain his morning and afternoon workouts.
However, the Bible seems to be one of the most important things providing Pacquiao with balance.
"My daily Bible study sessions are the perfect way to end the day. I have discovered that the Bible is the manual of life, and it has given me a lot of comfort, as well as lessons on being a better person," Pacquiao said in the ESPN report. "The Bible has shown me what my priorities should be so that I can live a better life. I am so much happier and at peace because I have embraced the Bible."
Despite speculation about Pacquiao ending his career in order to grow deeper in his Christian faith, the boxer said he is not planning a definitive end to his boxing career. Instead, he said Roach would tell him when his skills are declining and it is time to hang up his boxing gloves.
"Winning world titles in eight divisions and defeating great fighters like Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto, Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, Juan Manuel Marquez and Ricky Hatton have brought glory to the Philippines and the Filipino people around the world. But for as long as I keep fighting, it is my goal to keep the fans entertained and coming back for more fights," Pacquiao said. "I have no time limit on when I will end my boxing career. When it is no longer enjoyable and when my skills begin to decline, my trainer, Freddie Roach, has promised to tell me it is time to end it."
Still, the boxer said he has some goals to accomplish outside of the sport.
"The province of Sarangani, which I represent, is still without a hospital. That is not right, and I cannot rest until my province gets the funds to build one," Pacquiao said. "Human trafficking is an abomination, and I will not rest until it ceases. And finally, I have dedicated my life to spreading the lessons of the Bible."