LOS ANGELES – Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao took to the stage on Sunday service twice – in the morning, he was interviewed by Shepherd of the Hills Pastor Dudley Rutherford on stage, where they talked about his humble beginnings, work as a congressman, and vice-filled lifestyle before becoming a born-again Christian.
For Pacquiao, moments like this can be as important as the fight itself.
"It's important for us, not only me, but for all of us to have a strong spiritual guide because every day in our life, there's a lot of temptation," Pacquiao said.
Pacquiao's pastor believes the boxer's activities on Sunday – which is usually reserved for Church and family time – make him a better fighter.
"That's a Biblical principle, that you take one day a week that's called the Sabbath, and you rest," said Rutherford. "If you rest, you get more done in a week than if you work seven days."
"You're stronger, you're quicker, you're more prepared to fight," he added.
Hundreds filled the theater, and a big screen was set up outside for Pac-Man, the dog, to watch the Fighting Congressman testify.
One stop was not enough, however, as Pacquiao attended another service at Praise Christian Fellowship in Los Angeles' historic Filipinotown neighborhood early Sunday evening.
Pacquiao again talked about how faith had changed him, but for this round, he did it in Tagalog, alone on the stage.
The day before, Pacquiao hosted "temptation night," as part of the team's weight loss challenge, where contestants can win cash prizes of at least $2,000 for losing weight.
But on temptation night, contestants who may not reach their weight loss goals must decide between a meal and instant cash prizes, or to continue the weight loss challenge.
There is also a spiritual catch to the contest.
"Make sure you can make it to the finals. If not, you'll get nothing," warned Pacquiao.
"Those who do reach their weight loss goals must also memorize three Bible verses before they can claim their prizes," he added.