Sat, Feb 05, 2011
The New Paper
Meet Pacman's mum
Meet Pacman's mum
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By Nunthini Sivalingam

FOR THE fearsome fighter that he is, Manny Pacquiao did not dare to tell his mother when he first became an amateur boxer at 14.

Instead, the 10-time world champion broke the news in a letter, according to mother Dionisia Pacquiao, who was in Singapore last weekend for a charity concert.

Speaking to The New Paper exclusively through a translator, the 61-year-old (right) said: "He didn't dare to tell me in person that he was going to Manila to try his luck in boxing. Instead, he left me a letter explaining his intentions.

"I was rather upset, I would have preferred for him to be in school at that age," said the senior Pacquiao, who is known in her native Philippines as "Mommy Pacquiao".

When asked if she dislike boxing, she was quick to reply that she had nothing against the sport.

"Actually, two of my uncles were boxers as well. I am proud of Manny and his boxing achievements."

Chuckled Mommy Pacquiao as she held up a clenched fist: "Besides, I think Manny (left) has my fist."

Manny's decision to become a boxer was the turning point for Mommy Pacquiao and her six children - of which Manny is the fourth eldest.

She divorced Rosalio Pacquiao when Manny was in sixth grade, and Manny had to drop out of school when he was 11, as Mommy Pacquiao could not afford the school fees.

She said: "I did whatever I could to take care of my children - sometimes I would sell peanuts and rice cakes on the streets while Manny would sell bread.

"He was always trying to take care of us, we had no one to support us so he felt that he needed to be there for me.

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