(Photo: REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)
Manny Pacquiao is gearing up to face Juan Manuel Marquez in the ring for the fourth time on Saturday and despite the critics, the Filipino pugilist believes that his Christian faith makes him a better fighter.
Pacquiao, 33-year-old Filipino congressman and Christian, recently told ESPN Magazine that he believes he's a better fighter with God on his side.
"What I can say is, if God is with you, who can be against you," Pacquiao questioned. "All things are possible with God."
Despite his faith, Pacquiao told the publication that he can still have a "killer instinct" in the ring.
"Boxing is a sport. We allow each other to hit each other, but I'm not treating my opponent like my enemy," Pacquiao said. "We're doing a job to entertain people."
The well-known pugilist described why his faith is so important to him.
"Because God loves us so much. He doesn't want us to die. He takes no pleasure in the death of anyone," Pacquiao told ESPN. "That's what He said. I mean, if we don't have God in our life, we're considered dead."
Pacquiao describe his favorite Bible verses when speaking to the publication.
"In Ezekiel 18, verse 31 and 32, it says: 'Rid yourself of all the offenses you have committed and get a new heart and a new spirit and for I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord,'" Pacquiao said. "Repent and live."
While Pacquiao will face Marquez in the ring next, his most popular opponent has yet to fight him. Floyd Mayweather, undefeated pugilist, has been a coveted opponent for Pacquiao and his fans for years.
Although a fight has yet to be scheduled between the two, Pacquiao said he hopes that they will both enter the ring on opposite sides next year. Until then, the Filipino boxer said he is praying for Mayweather.
"I have no comment about him. But I'm praying for him that he will find a way of life," Pacquiao told ESPN. "Because our life here in this world is temporary. I'm not angry at him. I like Floyd. This is my brother. In God, in Christ Jesus."