In case you haven’t heard, there is a rumble coming and it’s getting louder. We are, of course, referring to the Island Rumble, scheduled for Jan. 7, when none other than legendary boxer Manny Pacquiao will be in attendance.
The world-famous pugilist is flying to the Cayman Islands for a whirlwind tour from Jan. 6-8 where he will meet dignitaries, mingle with fans, and be the VIP guest of the much anticipated boxing match at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex.
Manny Pacquiao arrives in Grand Cayman and will pay a courtesy call to the Cayman Islands Government offices. Later, he will be in attendance at the Island Rumble VIP Weigh-In and Auction Cocktail Party hosted by the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort.
Groundbreaking Ceremony with Manny Pacquiao at the location of the new boxing gym in Bodden Town.
Tour of Health City Cayman Islands and discussions with executives on working relations between the Hospital Network and the Philippines.
Manny Pacquiao hosts the Island Rumble at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex in the evening.
Visit, meet and greet in Cayman Brac.
“The Island Rumble is a great example of Sports Tourism in the Cayman Islands,” says Matthew Leslie, Event Director. “We are happy to have a high profile individual such as Manny Pacquiao hosting this event and my team and I are excited for the thousands of people who will come out and watch some great boxing and be a part of history.
“For many people who are fans of Manny Pacquiao, this will be the one and only time they ever get the chance to see him in the flesh. We expect everyone to give him a warm Cayman welcome.”
Born in 1978, Manny Pacquiao is one of six children. At the age of 14, he had to drop out of school due to the extreme poverty of his situation and lived for a time on the streets of Manila.
He started boxing and made the Philippine national amateur boxing team where his room and board were paid for by the government.
His professional boxing career began when he was just 16 years old, stood 4-foot 11-inches tall, and weighed 98 pounds, which was 7 pounds under the minimum weight division. He later admitted that he put weights in his pockets to make the 105 pound limit.
He started off in the light flyweight division and instantly buzz began swirling about the fighter with his aggressive, go-for-broke kamikaze-style of fighting. His name was one that people would soon never forget.
After a number of fights, gaining weight as he went, Pacquiao managed to skip the super flyweight and bantamweight divisions, going straight into a super bantamweight fight that gained him the WBC International Super Bantamweight title. He defended it five times before his chance for a world title fight came.
His big break was on June 23, 2001, against IBF Super Bantamweight title holder Lehlohonolo Ledwaba.
Pacquiao stepped into the fight as a late replacement on two weeks’ notice but won the fight by technical knockout to win the title, his second major boxing world title. The bout was held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
On November 15, 2003, Pacquiao faced Marco Antonio Barrera at the Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas, in a fight that many consider to have defined his career. Pacquiao, who was fighting at featherweight for the first time, brought his power with him and defeated Barrera via technical knockout in the eleventh round, only the second knockout loss in Barrera’s career, and won The Ring and lineal featherweight championships, making him the first Filipino and Asian to become a three-division world champion, a fighter who won world titles in three different weight divisions.
Since then, Pacquiao has won countless fights and titles, causing him to be labelled “one of the greatest boxers of all time” as he is the first and only eight-division world champion, having won 11 major world titles, as well as being the first boxer to win the lineal championship in five different weight classes. Pacquiao is also the third boxer in history to win genuine world titles in three of the original eight weight divisions of boxing, also known as the “glamour divisions” (flyweight, featherweight, and welterweight).
Although Pacquiao is still very much involved in the boxing and sporting world, he is also a politician, currently serving as Senator of the Philippines. In boxing he has held the lineal welterweight title since April 2016, and the WBO welterweight title since November 2016.
Married since 2000 to Jinkee Jamora with five children, Pacquiao has never forgotten his humble beginnings. “No matter where life takes you … don’t forget where you came from,” he says.
For more information on the Island Rumble, see www.islandrumble.com.