Manny Pacquiao received visits from legendary musician Bob Dylan and singer, songwriter, actor and author Ashanti during a Thursday workout at trainer Freddie Roach's Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, California.
Dylan, 72, author of a ballad entitled "Hurricane" about former middleweight boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, "told Manny how much he enjoyed watching him fight and Manny told him how humbled he was that he came over to watch him spar," said publicist Fred Sternburg in an email to RingTV.com. "It was a very moving day."
Ashanti, 33, has accepted Pacquiao's request to sing America's national anthem during the HBO Pay-Per-View broadcast of the Filipino star's April 12 rematch with Tim Bradley at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
A Grammy Award-winning songstress who has stated that she will be rooting for Pacquiao, "Ashanti dropped by after training to give Manny her new CD and to take a few photos," said Sternburg. "She ended up staying for the post-training lunch with Team Pacquiao. Ashanti's mother, Tina, was also there."
Pacquiao, whom Bradley dethroned for the WBO welterweight title by split-decision in June 2012, "gave Ashanti an official Manny Pacquiao t-shirt and signed it for her," said Sternburg.
Pacquiao asked Ashanti to sing the anthem last month after meeting her during the New York Knicks' 94-90 loss to The Portland Trail Blazers at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 5.
"I'm such a huge fan of Manny Pacquiao," she said, in part, during an earlier interview. "I can't wait. I actually love boxing. Manny's such a champion and I can't wait to cheer him on."
American Idol's Jessica Sanchez, 18, will sing the anthem for the Philippines, having done so for Bradley-Pacquiao I as well as before Pacquiao-Rios.
Sanchez has released her single, "Lead Me Home," and announced that all the proceeds would be donated to Typhoon Relief. Immediately following the Pacquiao-Rios fight, she embarked on a two-week charity trip to the Philippines with the Starkey Foundation where Pacquiao joined her.
Sanchez was the runner-up in the 11th season of television's American Idol, also competed on the first season of America's Got Talent when she was just 11.