ESPN Magazine: Boxer Manny Pacquiao says religion changed his life

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Published: Wednesday, Dec. 5 2012 11:00 a.m. MST

WBO welterweight champion boxer Manny Pacquiao, of the Philippines, left, poses for photos next to his challenger Juan Manuel Marquez, of Mexico, during a news conference in Mexico City, Friday, Sept. 21, 2012. The boxers are promoting their fourth fight, scheduled for Dec. 8, 2012 in Las Vegas.

Christian Palma, Associated Press

Our take: In an interview wtih ESPN reporter Jeremy Schaap, international boxer Manny Pacquiao talks about his upcoming fight against against Juan Manuel Marquez, his marriage, and his religious convictions and how they play into his boxing career.

SCHAAP: Why have you not been as aggressive recently as you were when you were younger?

PACQUIAO: With experience in boxing, you learn how to be a scientific boxer and how to fight easy.

SCHAAP: Roach has said you've become more religious, and he's concerned that will affect the way you fight. How do you respond to that concern?

PACQUIAO: It doesn't bother my boxing.

SCHAAP: You're the same boxer you were?

PACQUIAO: Yes.

SCHAAP: Why did you become more religious?

PACQUIAO: Because I'm reading the manual to life, which is the Bible, and I learn a lot of things there how to obey the law and the commandments of God and how to have eternal life.

SCHAAP: What was your life like before you found God?

PACQUIAO: I'm always praying, but it's not enough. I was drinking, committing adultery, sexual immorality, everything like that. Gambling. Careless words come out of my mouth. The Bible says we'll be judged for everything we do.

Read more about Manny Pacquiao is a new man on ESPN.

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