Pacquiao is a good guy who 'misspoke' against gays – Arum
LAS VEGAS, USA – The question of how Manny Pacquiao will be remembered has become more challenging to answer in the lead-up to the third fight against Timothy Bradley, which is set for Saturday, April 9 (US time), at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Pacquiao, who is considered among the greatest boxers of the last 20 years, sparked controversy when a viral video emerged of him describing couples in same sex marriage as being “worse than animals.”
Pacquiao, who has become deeply immersed in his Christian beliefs in recent years, says this fight will be the last of his 21-year career as he seeks a seat in the Philippine Senate in May’s general elections.
Promoter Bob Arum acknowledges the outrage his comments have caused, which included splitting with apparel brand Nike and being barred from visiting Los Angeles mall The Grove. Arum prefers to focus on the good he has done over the years.
“Manny will be remembered I think as a great humanitarian, as somebody who did great for his country, as somebody who was very charitable, as somebody who was a courageous fighter who gave 100% every time he was in the ring,” Arum said of the 8-division champion before digressing.
“And somebody who sometimes misspoke because he was guided by what he believed was religious belief. I don’t think he should be excused for the remarks that he made towards homosexuals and same sex marriage.”
Pacquiao further stoked outrage by citing the Bible scripture Leviticus 20:13 in a deleted Instagram post, which states: “If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”
Arum feels that Pacquiao could have expressed his faith in a less incendiary manner.
“He can be against same sex marriage on religious beliefs but the analogies were wrong, and going back and quoting that terrible verse from Leviticus is out of bounds because he’s a Christian. Leviticus is the Old Testament.
“But Corinthians says the same thing that it’s a sin if a man sleeps with another man, but says that it’s for God to judge. And as a Christian he should say, ‘I don’t believe in homosexuality or same sex marriage, but it’s for God to judge.’ What would he say about God? According to the new testament, God is a forgiving god.”
Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 knockouts) talked up his philanthropy during Wednesday's press conference, saying that he has spent "millions of dollars" to build homes for "thousands" of poor families in his native Philippines.
"I’m just a steward of God’s grace in its various forms. That’s God’s blessings, because I believe that when I receive the blessings, that’s not for me alone, but he wants to bless others also," said Pacquiao.
Trainer Freddie Roach, who described his relationship with Pacquiao as “15 years of greatness”, doesn’t agree with characterizations of Pacquiao as a hateful person.
“We had a great career and so forth, but he’s like the best guy in the world. He is like the most generous, nice, fair person I’ve ever met in my life,” Roach said at the media roundtables on Thursday.
“He’s not prejudiced against anybody. He treats everybody fairly, he loves everybody. He’s just a good person. I think he’s the best person that I’ve ever met in my life.”
Pacquiao and Bradley (33-1-1, 13 KOs) hurdled the final obstacle before their fight with ease, weighing in under the welterweight limit at 145.5 and 146.5 respectively at Friday's weigh-in. – Rappler.com