MANILA, Philippines – A Filipino-American amateur boxer got a confidence booster for an upcoming US boxing tournament after being “blessed” by Filipino boxing star Manny Pacquiao.
Fourteen-year-old Jessie Mandapat, who is slated to compete in the annual Gene Lewis boxing tournament in Arizona, visited Pacquiao in Los Angeles for a pray over.
Pacquiao had a faith renewal early this year and is supportive of Mandapat.
According to Philboxing, the Filipino icon held the young boxer’s hands and prayed over him at the Pan Pacific Park in Los Angeles. He blessed the boy and wished him luck for his upcoming competition.
“He prayed that I be given strength and also for my safety,” Mandapat said. “I felt really good because the champion of the world blessed me.”
Mandapat’s father Jess said his son idolizes Pacquiao not only as an athlete but as a role model.
“Last year, humingi siya kay Manny ng Bible at saka he always remind me to pray (Jessie asked Manny for a bible last year and he always reminds me to pray)," said the older Mandapat.