LOS ANGELES, Jan. 26, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Professional sports writers have called him the "Fighter of the Decade." A nearly twenty year veteran of the ring, he is world champion boxer Manny Pacquiao, who sat down late last week for an exclusive interview with Matthew Crouch of the Trinity Broadcasting Network, to talk about his life, his career, and his faith in God.
You can see that interview in its entirety HERE on TBN's online network iTBN.org.
One of the wealthiest and most recognizable athletes in the world, the 36-year-old Pacquiao rose up from poverty in his native Philippines to become a legend in the fight ring, the only boxer in history to win world championships in eight different weight classes.
But that success came at a heavy price as Pacquiao, who was raised Catholic, found himself giving in to the temptations that come with success, popularity, and wealth. Drinking, gambling, and marital infidelity became a way of life that threatened to destroy his career and his family. "I went to church on Sunday, but from Monday to Saturday, I was in the bar drinking," he said. "I was gambling … I committed adultery. I didn't care."
But in the midst of the turmoil swirling in an out-of-control life, Pacquiao was confronted with his need for change as he began to read the Bible. Pacquiao ultimately became a born-again Christian, turning his life and future over to God. "We're not talking about religion here, but a relationship with God," Pacquiao told GMA News of the Philippines.
Since that conversion several years ago Pacquiao has been vocal about his faith, referring to it often in interviews with the media. "Christ said unless we are born again we cannot enter the kingdom of God," he told the UK's Guardian newspaper recently. "So it's very important to me. Jesus Christ said: 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.' There is no other way. The only way is through Jesus."
Pacquiao, who is also an elected legislator in the Philippine House of Representatives, has turned much of his attention to ministry outreach in his own country, funding the construction of a church, school, and community center in General Santos City, Philippines. "What we're doing by building this church is obeying what the Bible says," Pacquiao explained to Yahoo Sports. "We're going to feed the poor, help the widows, and teach and inspire the children about the greatness of the Lord."
TBN's Matthew Crouch said that Pacquiao represents the rare example of a professional athlete whose Christian faith has made a dramatic difference in how he conducts his life. "Manny Pacquiao is living out a vital faith in Christ through both his words and his actions," said Mr. Crouch. "We are excited to hear his dramatic story of God's transforming power, and how it has made a difference for him both in and out of the ring."
Log on to the Trinity Broadcasting Network's iTBN online network to see the entire TBN interview with world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao.
About the Trinity Broadcasting Family of Networks
With 26 networks and growing worldwide, the Trinity Broadcasting Family of Networks is the world's largest faith-and-family television group, airing a broad range of church and ministry programming, Christian music, family friendly movies, children's programming, and shows for teens and young adults 24 hours a day to every inhabited continent via 85 satellite channels and 20,000 television and cable affiliates. In addition, TBN's most popular global networks are available on computers, smart phones, and other mobile devices, and over 26,000 hours of entertaining and inspiring On-Demand programming is accessible via TBN's innovative online network, iTBN.org. To find out more about the Trinity Broadcasting Family of Networks, log on to www.tbn.org.
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SOURCE Trinity Broadcasting Network