“I am proof of God’s power to create something from nothing.”
This statement made by Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao in an interview with American TV host Katie Couric touched off a renewed Pacquiao-mania not only in the deeply-religious Philippines but also in conservative America and other Christian nations like Mexico.
Religious groups immediately identified themselves with Manny Pacquiao, the man of God, who in another interview said:
“I will say this: The Lord, my God that I’m serving, will deliver him into my hands on May 2.”
In Davao City, Philippines, where the City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is a close friend of the Filipino boxing icon, religious leader Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy will dedicate May 3 as a Day of Prayer for Pacquiao’s success.
“The Kingdom Nation of 6-million will pray for Manny Pacquiao on May 3,” said Quiboloy, also a friend of Pacquiao who was among the first religious leaders who contributed to the boxing icon’s religious re-awakening.
While the fight will be nighttime of May 2 in Las Vegas, Nevada, it will be seen in the Philippines morning of May 3, Sunday, a day when most Filipinos would be in church.
“This is no longer just a boxing match. This is a celebration of God’s power to lift up his sons and daughters who believe in Him,’ said Pastor Quiboloy on Friday when he celebrated his 64th birthday in the sprawling Kingdom of Jesus Christ compound in Davao City.
At the back of the KJC compound is a massive structure called the King Dome which could seat 65,000 people which Quiboloy hopes would be opened in 2016 with a Manny Pacquiao fight.
Religious leaders who have been supporting Manny Pacquiao are also holding hands in prayer for the Filipino boxing icon’s victory.
“Manny’s success will have a deep impact on the religiosity of people,” said Pastor Kino Natividad, one of the closest religious leaders to the Filipino boxing icon.
Even in America, deeply religious Americans are rooting for Manny Pacquiao and have even went to as far as calling the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight as a battle between “Good and Evil.”
It is a label which the Mayweather camp has protested.
But the deeply religious could not be dissuaded from making labelling the fight as such insisting that while Pacquiao invokes the name of God in everything he does, Mayweather has always bragged about his money even calling himself as Floyd “Money” Mayweather.
Actor James Caviezel, who played the role of Jesus Christ in the movie Passion of Christ and who visited Pacquiao at the Wild Card Gym on April 1, told the Filipino boxing icon “You will prevail in this fight because you are a man of God.”
Prayers, they say, can move mountains.
Prayers could just as well help believers win very difficult and dangerous boxing bouts.
On May 2, millions of Prayer Warriors will join Manny Pacquiao in the toughest and deeply symbolic fight of his life.