Religion

Manny Pacquiao Quits Cockfighting for God?

| by Denise A Justin

Is it true that Manny Pacquiao has totally given up his stock of 1,000 fighting cocks because God has touched his heart?

For the roosters’ sake, we hope so! Fighter of the Decade and Congressman Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao has won eight world titles in boxing, and holds the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight championship, but he recently told SuperSport.com “I am no longer in the vice business.”

Pacquiao hinted he may even retire from boxing. Pacquiao says “his new dedication to religion makes him hesitant to fight. Has this also softened his heart toward the roosters he caused to fight to death after strapping metal blades to their feet? Manny claims he has given away all his fighting cocks, valued at about $700,000, and will stop gambling as he moves to his new calling to be a goodwill ambassador for the Catholic Church.”

Pacquiao has reportedly sold his shares in a Manila casino and a nightclub. He continued, “I realize I was a weak person before. If I had died I believe my soul would have ended in hell... I had faith, but I was doing things which were against the will of God." "I have found my real peace and happiness now," said Pacquiao, who last month accepted the invitation to become a church spokesman. "I draw strength and inspiration from reading and hearing the word of God." "It's not right that I share God's word and at the same time hurt other people," Pacquiao told reporters at a military ceremony in the Philippines. "I've gained more than enough blessings these past years so I think it's time for me to return the favor."

Alex Groberman on OpposingViews.com is not convinced. He writes in a February 15 article that Manny Pacquiao’s announcement about retiring from boxing doesn’t make sense because of his highly competitive nature.

Born Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao, on December 17, 1978, Pacquiao has also been involved in acting, music recording, and politics. In May 2010, Pacquiao shocked the political world when he ran for the House of Representatives in the 15th Congress of the Philippines and won. He represents the province of Sarangani.

Pacquiao is the father of four and known to be a devout Roman Catholic. Within the ring, he frequently makes the sign of the cross, and every time he comes back from a successful fight abroad, he attends a thanksgiving Mass in Manila. He is a military reservist with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Reserve Force of the Philippine Army.

Cockfights, called Sabong in the Philippines, have long been considered a cultural tradition and involve heavy betting. If Manny Pacquiao, who is idolized by many young boys, retires from cockfighting because of his concern for hurting another living creature, will he also discourage the continuing participation in this brutal blood sport by the next generation as part of their “heritage?”