MANILA, Philippines – The boxing movie of loyal Manny Pacquiao fan, American actor Mark Wahlberg, is now being shown in Philippine cinemas.
Based on the life of retired boxer Micky “Irish” Ward, "The Fighter" is released locally by Pioneer Films.
Pacquiao served as an inspiration for Wahlberg for his portrayal of Ward, a journeyman fighter best remembered for his monumental battles against Arturo Gatti.
Wahlberg has been following the Filipino champion’s career since his victory over boxing great Oscar de la Hoya in December 2008.
“Every time he was training at Wild Card Gym, I watched him because my whole approach was, I wanted to look like a Manny Pacquiao-caliber fighter. I didn’t want to look like another actor who’s doing an okay job. Manny is the best in the world. Who better to learn from?” said the actor in Skamid.com.
He has also been a frequent visitor in Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym whenever the Filipino trains there.
“Manny, I think, is by far pound-for-pound the best to do it (boxing) after winning 8 titles in 8 different classes,” Wahlberg said earlier in an interview with US radio personality Dan Patrick.
He considers the long-awaited bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Pacquiao as “the fight of the century.”
But Wahlberg said it looks like the fight won’t push through after Pacquiao beat up Antonio Margarito last November.
“I don't think [Pacquiao] destroying Margarito boosts Mayweather's confidence,” he said.