|World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) superstar Rey Mysterio. Photo courtesy of Mike Bagtas for abs-cbnNEWS.com
MANILA, Philippines – Rey Mysterio, one of the most popular names in World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), is one of the biggest fans of Filipino boxing champ Manny Pacquiao.
“Ever since, Manny has taken all of my idols away,” he said in an interview on Friday.
Mysterio arrived in Manila on Thursday night for a promotional tour for WWE. He will leave the country for Taiwan this weekend.
The Mexican wrestler said he looks up to Pacquiao, an eight-division champion, not only for his skills but also for his passion, humility and faith in God.
Both Mysterio and Pacquiao are devout Catholics.
“You just have to respect the fact that when Manny steps in the ring, he does what he does best. And he has a gift, and he displays it every time and he’s the best. And you can see it right through him, every time he goes up there and performs,” the WWE superstar explained.
“His main thing is, of course, God. That’s who he does it for. But then, he takes into consideration all of his fans. And, you know, I’m the same way,” he added.
Mysterio said he first met Pacquiao during the latter's last fight with Erik Morales in 2006.
In this match, Morales was defeated by a knockout in three rounds.
“Very briefly one time, in his fight with Morales. I was actually recovering from a surgery at the time, and Morales asked me – he’s a good friend of mine – if I can join him in his corner with the Mexican flag. [I said] I would love to and that day, backstage in the locker room, I ran across Manny and I was able to say hi.
“I never had the chance to talk to him or anything. At the time, when I put the flag down and everybody got ready, I was making it over to my seat and I was like, ‘The fight was already over? What happened?’ Manny had won, yeah.”
Asked if that was the time when he first became a fan, Mysterio said: “No, I think I’ve been a fan way before that. And of course, you see Manny throughout his career and all the fights he’s been confronted with. And I respect the man for what he does and for his ability and for sweating it out every day, and for doing what he likes to do.”
Earlier today, Mysterio said on ABS-CBN show “Umagang Kay Ganda” that he would like to team up with Pacquiao against the pair of Floyd Mayweather and former WWE champion Alberto del Rio.