Recently the Jewish "Tablet" magazine reported about an Israeli champion of boxe, Yuri Foreman, who, during the session of training, is studying to become Orthodox Rabbi:
"These days, he trains at Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn and is preparing for a fight Saturday that could win him a world-championship title, the first for an Israeli. But even more daunting, he says, is the work he does each morning and between training sessions: he is studying the Shulchan Aruch, or Jewish code of law, in preparation to become an Orthodox rabbi. Matt Lieber reports the story."
I suddenly recalled about the Philippino champion of boxe, Manny Pacquiao, whom, told me the pastor of the Baptist church in Davao City who married us, became a born again Baptist. Manny won the most important match of his life:
"...Manny Pacquiao: ‘I changed when I heard the voice of God’
The welterweight world champion has left his womanising ways behind him and he has refocused on boxing and religionby Kevin Mitchell
Saturday 4 October 2014 19.43 BST(........)Nor does he claim, as some fighters have, that God is on his side. God is just, well, not as far away as he once imagined, certainly not when he was cutting loose in any nightspot that would let him in, from Manila to Los Angeles. “I have a lot of dreams and visions,” the world welterweight champion says in a voice as unthreatening as a mother’s whisper. “I even heard the voice of God. When I heard the voice of God, I am trembling and melting. I feel I have died. It was an amazing, amazing experience.
“I’m happy because I found the right way, salvation, born again. We are required to be born again, all of us. Christ said unless we are born again we cannot enter the kingdom of God. So it’s very important to me. Jesus Christ said: ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’ There is no other way. The only way is through Jesus.”
I do not have the feeling I am in the presence of a man who could put me in hospital with a practised flick of his fist, who did exactly that inside two rounds in 2009 to Ricky Hatton, another fighter who did not stint on life’s pleasures, and is again struggling with those temptations. Pacquiao’s trainer of 13 years, Freddie Roach, is standing a few feet away. He has heard Manny’s story of redemption many times. “It’s more vital to him now than ever before,” Roach says. “He was born a Catholic, now he’s a born-again Christian. His mother [Dionesia] hates it. She’s always trying to force the Rosary on him. The only worry about it is that maybe it could hurt his political career, because 90% of the Philippines is Catholic and he’s a born-again Christian.”.....".
Read the entire article in the Guardian online: