You don’t have to appreciate the sport of boxing and all of it’s brutality to appreciate what Manny Pacquiao means to the people of the Philippines and their spirit of perseverance.  He’s a national hero unlike any other and despite having the ability to overpower his opponents in the ring, his greatest ‘weapon’ is his smile and the attitude behind it.   Last night, after a full year off since his last time in the ring and his painful defeat at the hands of Juan Manuel Márquez, he carried his country on his shoulders and gave them a much needed victory that we can be sure will rejuvenate their resilience in the face of Typhoon Haiyan.

This is especially true for those in the disaster zone who (for 12 two-minute rounds) were able to take a break from what must feel like an endless process of rebuilding to watch him fight on makeshift screens set up by local authorities. Last night’s match was planned long before the Super Typhoon first appeared on the radar, but it could not have come at a more appropriate time.  Not many people have what it takes to put it all on the line and carry the weight of an entire devastated country into a 1-on-1 battle, but luckily for the Filipino people, Manny Paquiao can.

Here’s a more in-depth article on last night’s win and it’s effect on the Philippines…

Pacquiao’s win brings cheers in typhoon-hit Philippines

(Reuters Excerpt) – Filipinos at temporary shelters in typhoon-ravaged central Philippines erupted in jubilation after boxing hero Manny Pacquiao thumped American Brandon Rios to clinch the WBO welterweight crown in Macau on Sunday. Displaced families, aid workers and soldiers jumped from their seats and broke into thunderous applause as Pacquiao, the only boxer to win world titles in eight weight divisions, comprehensively beat his younger and taller opponent.