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ESPN Magazine: Boxer Manny Pacquiao says religion changed his life

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 2 2015 2:33 a.m. MDT

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) 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?

In this photo made Oct. 20, 2011, boxer Manny Pacquiao trains at the Wild Card Boxing Club in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles.  (Chris Carlson, Associated Press) In this photo made Oct. 20, 2011, boxer Manny Pacquiao trains at the Wild Card Boxing Club in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. (Chris Carlson, Associated Press)

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.

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