MACAU – From one global sports icon to another.
Retired football superstar David Beckham will be rooting for boxing hero Manny Pacquiao this Sunday when he returns to the ring to take on dangerous Brandon Rios in a 12-round welterweight fight.
They Said It!
“I am a huge fan of Manny." - football superstar David Beckham
The 6-foot former England midfielder is currently in this former Portuguese colony for the announcement of the Asian partnership with the Las Vegas Sands.
But at the same time, he admitted his desire to watch and root for the 34-year-old Pacquiao is also one of the reasons why he came over.
“I am a huge fan of Manny (Pacquiao). I met him a few years ago in the Philippine when I was there in a tour with the LA Galaxy,” said the 38-year-old Englishman who formally retired from the game last May.
Beckham had a chance to speak with the Philippine boxing pride during that brief visit in 2011 and immediately got to know how Pacquiao inspires his countrymen.
And not lost on the Englishman is the destruction brought by super-typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) to the Filipinos, especially in the Visayas region.
“I know how much this fight means to him this weekend, especially with everything that has happened to the Philippines the last couple of weeks,” noted Beckham, who was voted as one of the Top 125 greatest living footballers as part of Fifa’s 100th anniversary celebration.
Beckham added Pacquiao’s fight will definitely bring a lot of joy to his suffering countrymen, even for just a while.
“I know that even for a small moment, it will put a lot of smile on the faces of the Philippine people,” said the husband of former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham, who had stints with Manchester United, Real Madrid Milan and LA Galaxy before ending his career with Paris Saint-Germain.
The former member of the English national team also admitted he considers boxing legend Muhammad Ali as among his sports heroes.
“He wasn’t just boxing, he wasn’t just a spokesman. He was a leader of the people,” he said of the three-time heavyweight champion of the world.