RIO DE JANEIRO—Enrique Arturo De Alba Gonzales, one of Brazil's National Olympic Committee assistants, was excited after being tasked to assist the Philipine delegation to the Olympics here as he admitted to be a big boxing and Manny Pacquiao fan.
Gonzales' fandom of Pacquiao becomes even more interesting as he hails from Mexico, one born appreciating the sport of boxing through Mexican greats Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, and Juan Manuel Marquez - three of Pacquiao's greatest rivals.
Even though his hometown boxers suffered famous losses to the Filipino superstar, Gonzales said Pacquiao remains one of Mexico's admired personalities especially for resembling the values Mexicans hold precious.
“He is like a national hero to us as well,” said Gonzales. “We admire humble athletes and he is a great image of that.”
“He depicts how Mexican people are like - humility, honor, and true sportsmanship which is something that we really value,” he added. “Mexico is a big boxing country and it’s part of our culture. Just seeing how he is and how he behaves, we really admire him a lot.”