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Pacquiao splits commitments to job and faith

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In a conference call with reporters on Wednesday, Manny Pacquaio offered further clarification of the controversy that broke out last week after the Filipino superstar was asked about his stance on same-sex marriage.

“Did I know that my answer on legalizing same-sex marriage would create controversy? Yes,” said Pacquiao. “It’s a controversial issue. The reporter asked me about my stance on it, and I answered his question. I am against legalizing same-sex marriage. That was all I said.”

Some reports following the statement incorrectly attributed inflammatory bible verses, which called for homosexuals to be put to death, to Pacquiao, resulting in widespread outrage aimed at the fighter.

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Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KOs) has been very vocal of the renewed commitment to his faith in the lead-up to defending his WBO welterweight title against challenger Tim Bradley (28-0, 12 KOs) on June 9, but says the lifestyle changes he has made are separate from his fight preparation.

“When I committed my life to the Lord, I gave up many things that were not in keeping with what the Bible teaches,” said Pacquiao, referring to previous habits of gambling and womanizing, among other things. “Boxing is a job, and I do not look at it as anything more than that. It will not affect my job.”

Following training at the Wild Card Boxing Club during the day, Pacquiao frequently hosts bible-study sessions at his home in Los Angeles.

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Pacquaio’s “spiritual advisor,” Pastor Jeric Soriano, leads the sessions, which include multimedia presentations and a band playing music between walls hung with dartboards and paintings of the fighter.

Not much is known about Soriano himself, though he made a career as a commercial director and comes from a show-business family in the Philippines. His father was the well-known Filipino actor and dancer Nestor de Villa, and his son is director Paul Soriano.

 

 

Photos / Chris Farina – Top Rank

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