Filipino prizefighter Manny Pacquiao has a very special exercise partner. His nine-year-old Jack Russell Terrier Pacman (who shares the boxer’s nickname) is a constant companion at the southpaw’s workouts.
Pacquiao grew up in impoverished conditions in the Philippines. According to (human) trainer Freddie Roach, the fighter was traumatized when he found out that his father had resorted to dire measures to aid his family’s survival—he cooked their pet dog for food.*
As a result, Pacquiao ran away from home and lived on the streets, where his strength and survival abilities helped him become the disciplined and skillful fighter he is today. Pacquiao serves as a congressman in the Philippines and regularly gives back to the poor in his homeland. Clearly, human Pacman is paying tribute to the dog he lost as a child by showing love to canine Pacman.
*According to Wikipedia: The killing of dogs as a livestock animal has been banned in the Philippines since 1998 via Republic Act No. 8485, known as the Animal Welfare Act, with exemptions for dogs killed and eaten as part of indigenous rituals in some northern regions of the country. In the capital city of Manila, Metro Manila Commission Ordinance 82-05 specifically prohibits the killing and selling of dogs for food.
Featured image via CyberBoxingZone