By Keith Idec
Manny Pacquiao’s passion for helping his people has been publicized plenty throughout his ascent to superstardom.
The Filipino boxer and politican’s primary mission as a senator and potential presidential candidate in his homeland is to better the lives of the Philippines’ impoverished citizens. Pacquiao gives away millions of dollars there, some of which have gone toward building churches, hospitals and schools.
Pacquiao isn’t the only one who feels as though he’ll fight for a large faction of fans who come from comparable places Saturday night in Las Vegas.
His opponent, Adrien Broner, believes he also represents people from impoverished communities in the United States. The Cincinnati native has been saying since their fight was officially announced in November that he has “the whole hood” behind him.
The four-division champion explained that statement during a conference call last week.
“Where I come from, man, you know, we barely get someone to come out and be at the top level where I am today,” Broner said. “So, you know, that’s why I’m doing this for the hood, to give back hope and show the young kids, you know, just follow their dreams. That’s why I’m doing this for the hood. That motivates me to just go in there and do my best. And we’re gonna go in there and get the victory.”
One of Broner’s close friends, a rap mogul who also has been an inspiration to many inner-city kids, discussed Broner’s mantra during the second episode of Showtime’s “ALL ACCESS: Pacquiao Vs. Broner.” Showtime filmed Broner spending time at Rick Ross’ Florida studio during a segment that premiered Friday night.
“This ain’t just AB getting in the ring,” Ross said. “When he say I’m doing this for the hood, this everybody in there. He got us on his back. You dig? Everybody.”
The 12-round, 147-pound championship match between the 40-year-old Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs) and the 29-year-old Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs, 1 NC) will headline Showtime’s four-fight pay-per-view broadcast Saturday night from MGM Grand Garden Arena. The telecast is set to start at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and will cost $74.99 to view in HD through most cable and satellite operators.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.