In case you haven’t heard, there is a rumble coming and it’s getting louder. We, of course, are referring to the Island Rumble, scheduled for Saturday, 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 this weekend, when he will meet dignitaries, mingle with fans, and be the VIP guest of the much-anticipated boxing match at the Truman Bodden Stadium.
Manny Pacquiao arrives in Grand Cayman at 12:35 p.m. and will pay a courtesy call to the Cayman Islands government offices at 1:30 p.m. Later, he will attend the Island Rumble VIP Weigh-In and Auction Cocktail Party hosted by the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort from 6:30-8 p.m.
Ground-breaking ceremony at 10 a.m. at the location of the new boxing gym in Bodden Town.
Tour of Health City Cayman Islands at noon to have discussions with executives on working relations between the hospital network and the Philippines.
Pacquiao hosts the Island Rumble at the Truman Bodden Stadium where fans can get a close look at the legend in person. Gates open at 7 p.m.
Visit, meet-and-greet in Cayman Brac. Pacquiao will be in the Brac from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. He departs the Cayman Islands at 5 p.m.
“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, Pacquiao is one of six children. At 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. His room and board were paid for by the government.
His professional boxing career began when he was just 16, 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.
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 ring as a late replacement on two weeks’ notice but won the title by technical knockout, his second major boxing world title.
On Nov. 15, 2003, Pacquiao faced Marco Antonio Barrera at the Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas, in a match that many consider to have defined his career. Pacquiao, who was fighting at featherweight for the first time, brought his power and defeated Barrera by technical knockout in the 11th round, only the second knockout loss in Barrera’s career. Pacquiao 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, and is now widely considered one of the greatest boxers of all time.
He is the first and only eight-division world champion, having won 11 major world titles. He is also 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).
He has held the lineal welterweight title since April 2016, and the WBO welterweight title since November 2016.
Although Pacquiao is still very much involved in the boxing and sporting world, he is also involved in politics and currently is a senator in the Philippines.
He has been married since 2000 to Jinkee Jamora, and the couple has 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. VIP tickets and general admission are available at different pricing levels.