LAS VEGAS – Their hearts truly beat as one.
Like her superstar husband, Jinkee Pacquiao exudes an aura of calmness and poise as the clock ticks to the fourth and final chapter of Manny Pacquiao's stirring rivalry with Juan Manuel Marquez.
Pacquiao climbs back to the ring on Saturday night for a fourth meeting with Marquez, the Mexican hombre whom he beat by majority decision just a year ago in a bout not a few believed the 39-year-old Marquez won.
“Very light ang feeling. Magaan ang loob, walang tension, parang si Manny rin,” said the 33-year-old First Lady of Boxing.
It was actually during that same Marquez fight last year when rumors spread like wild fire that the celebrated couple's marriage had hit a rough patch, the distraction eventually reflecting in the way Pacquiao performed in the ring.
But all that is now water under the bridge as Manny and Jinkee were a picture of a truly happy couple in the company of family and friends over dinner on Thursday (Friday, Manila time) inside the boxer’s elegant suit at the 60th floor of The Hotel.
“Very relaxed. Nakikita ko na happy siya (Manny) sa training kaya no worries talaga,” Jinkee said.
Six months ago, the charming Mrs. Pacquiao felt as bad as her hubby when one of boxing’s top pound-for-pound fighters was at the losing end of a stunning split decision against American Timothy Bradley.
Truth was, it was Jinkee who was more affected by the outcome of the Bradley match that Manny had to comfort her instead of the other way around.
“Kung ano yung naramdaman ni Manny, `yun din ang naramdaman ko,” said Jinkee, who was radiant in her black and green dress. “Actually, mas mabigat pa nga ang loob ko, kaya ako pa ang kinakalma ni Manny.”
Incidentally, it was during the Bradley fight that sons Michael and Jemuel watched their father in action for the first time.
They are not around this time, not because of the fear of witnessing another loss, but because they had to attend to their studies.
“May studies pa kasi sila,” said Jinkee, who is set to run a s vice-governor of Sarangani in next year’s national elections.
“At tsaka tulad din naman nung ibang nakapanood, alam din naman nila kung ano `yung totoong nangyari.”