MANILA, Philippines - Filipino boxing champion Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao has a reputation of being a generous man outside of the boxing ring and his generosity extends to people even beyond his inner circle of family and friends.
|A poster of Pacquiao in David Rodela's house. Photo grabbed from YouTube.
One of Pacquiao's sparring partners, Mexican-American David Rodela, was a beneficiary of Pacquiao's generosity late last year, when the pound-for-pound king gave him a big wedding gift.
"He asked, David, I heard you just got married. I said yeah, and he said congratulations," Rodela said in the third episode of 24/7: Pacquiao vs Marquez.
"Then he asked, 'Hey, did you buy a house?' I said, 'Not yet,'" Rodela said.
Rodela said Pacquiao gave him a check, which was enough to pay for the down payment for his house.
"I was just happy, blown away. I'm just his sparring partner, I'm not family," Rodela said. "He didn't have to."
Rodela's new house features an autographed poster of Pacquiao with the words "Pacman, Ninong."
The boxer admits that his own career will never follow the trajectory of Pacquiao's, and understands that he will never be as financially successful as the Filipino fighter.
"I don't need to be rich. I'm making enough money just sparring. If I'm known as a sparring partner, that's fine. It doesn't bug me. As long as my family has a roof over their heads and food on the table, I'm happy, " he said.
Rodela has been sparring with Pacquiao for 13 training camps now, and he is more determined than ever to help Pacquiao prepare for his upcoming fight against Juan Manuel Marquez.
"I don't got money, I don't got nothing, what can I offer him? The only thing, the way I think I can help him, and offer my thank you, is to do the best that I possibly can to help him get ready for the fight," Rodela said.
Rodela's job in the camp is to duplicate Marquez' resilience and tenacity, and he said that he feels the Filipino fighter is all ready with one week to go before fight night.
"I think he's ready. Freddie (Roach) is giving him his last pointers, the last things he need to sharpen up," Rodela said.
As for his prediction, Rodela echoes Roach's words, saying, "It won't go past 6 rounds."