With wife Jinkee and children Jimwell, Michael, Princess and Queennie joining him here, Pacquiao, 33, will have added motivation when he defends his World Boxing Organization welterweight title against undefeated American Tomothy Bradley on June 9 (June 10 in Manila) at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
“Sino ba naman ang hindi magagalak na makita ang maybahay mo at lahat ng anak ay personal na sinusuportahan ka? Nakakataba ng puso, di ba?,” Pacquiao stated Wednesday during his media day session at the Wild Card Gym in downtown Hollywood here.
With his family closely watching at ringside, Pacquiao, who sports a 54-3-2 win-loss draw card laced with 38 KOs, gamely sparred with Ruslan Provodnikov, Kevin Hoskins and Roger “Speedy” Gonzales.
“This is the first time in my boxing career that my entire family came to my training camp to show their support for me in this fight and that alone makes me more than happy that will inspire me no end in defense of my title,” he added.
“Of course, their unprecedented presence, most especially my children, elates me no end as this marks the first time that all of them appeared in my training camps before,” said Pacquiao, his eyes glowing.
Even trainer Freddie Roach also noted the positive change in Pacquiao’s body language, saying: “Manny’s very happy and when he’s happy, it spells disaster to who he is fighting.”
Although she failed to join her husband in his early morning workout, Jinkee, along with Jimuel and Micheal, scaled the Griffith Park.
“Para na ring nag-exercise,” Jinkee said of their leisure-pace walk.
While Bradley, 28, (28-0, 12 KOs) continues to trumpet his credentials to the extent of showing a customized fight poster that already calls for a “rematch,” Pacquiao has stayed calm and composed.
“I’ll rebuke him na lang in Jesus’ name. I respect Bradley as a fighter, I respect his capability to win as he did in his previous unbeaten 28 fights,” he said.
Top Rank chief Bob Arum, who also visited the boxing gym, was also elated by Pacquiao’s renewed vigor, saying: “Bradley is very good when I saw him training, but Manny is sharp, very sharp. I believe because his family is here rooting for him. Manny’s spending more time with his family. He’s changed a lot really.”
Arum also said tickets for the fights are selling like hot cakes, with only about 1,500 tickets out of 14,500 still available.