A kid of the 1980s, Manny was introduced to boxing by his uncle after he decided to drop out of school. His uncle could not possibly have known that this hobby and interest could turn into Manny becoming one of the greatest boxers in the world!
When Manny watched James “Buster” Douglas win over Mike Tyson in 1990, he was inspired that he, too, could become an incredible champion. At 12-years-old Manny was already beating all of the competitors in his hometown in Philippines, and he was beating even the 16-year-olds.
Stuck in their circumstances of poverty, Manny’s father had to kill his pet dog in order for the family to have something to eat. Unable to forgive his father, the boy left home and lived the lifestyle of a homeless teen selling bread. Soon the boy discovered that he could win matches to earn $2, which kept him fed.
Even when he moved to Manila, Manny showed his tenacity by getting a job at a local gym doing maintenance. He trained relentlessly and eventually became more serious about his sport. At the age of 19, Manny won his first World Champion title.
Now, almost 20 years later, Manny is certainly a force to be reckoned with! And even though Mayweather defeated him recently, Manny’s story of his rise from poverty is inspiring to Filipinos and other young people worldwide.