By: Sean Crose
Manny Pacquiao has reportedly tested negative for the Corona virus, otherwise known as COVID-19. The iconic boxer and Filipino senator had reportedly come into contact with an individual who had tested positive for the virus. Pacquiao claimed he had “already started home quarantine” in a public announcement. “Please don’t worry,” he stated, “I received rapid testing kits from my friends from South Korea. Using these kits approved in Korea, I tested negative. The FDA hasn’t approved them yet but these are what’s used in Korea.” Like much of the world, Pacquiao’s native Philippines has been hit by COVID-19. Pacquiao and his family reportedly went under quarantine.
The WBA world welterweight champion – and almost guaranteed future Hall of Fame fighter – has said he will be willing to be tested again, by swab, if evidence arises that the virus may be impacting him. Pacquiao has also claimed he is willing to face death himself in order to help the Filipino people during the international pandemic. “It’s an entirely different conversation when I’m feeling something strange in my body,” he said. “I am willing to undergo swab testing for the sake of my family and my country, but I will go through the regular procedure.” Pacquiao has argued that “there are many more persons under investigation or PUI that should be prioritized in testing.”
Pacquiao, perhaps the most famous Filipino on earth, last stepped foot in a professional boxing ring last summer when he surprised many by knocking down defending WBA world welterweight champion Keith Thurman en route to a decision victory. Although Pacquiao was supposed to fight again this summer – Mikey Garcia’s name has been mentioned – the worldwide terror that is COVID-19 has put any plans that may have been in the works on hold indefinitely. At the moment, Pacquiao, who has held titles in a whopping eight weight divisions, is focusing on his duties as a senator.
“If you are a leader,” the Manila Bulletin quotes Pacquiao as saying, “you have to be a frontliner.” Pacquiao has also addressed the fact that his own upbringing in extreme poverty has made him empathetic to those in need. “You have to lead,” he said, “and let people see that you are with them…I grew up poor. I know what they feel.” As of last weekend, there were close to a thousand confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines. Over 50 Filipinos struck by the virus had perished from it.