MANILA, PHILIPPINES – “I will give him one punch for every mother that he has insulted,” says Manny Pacquiao, reacting to various misogynist statements that the Pope had previously made. “Hindi ko na kailangan ng ring para dito. Kahit saan pwede ako.” (“I don’t need a ring for this anymore. I can do it anywhere.”)
Many of the pope’s statements, according to Pacquiao, seem to attach the value of a woman to her fertility, which he finds demeaning and reduces the value of women. He also criticized the pope’s refusal to accept women into clergy, saying it “betrays a deep sense of sexism inherent in the institution.”
Pacquiao recently challenged the Pope to a boxing match as a sign of hospitality and to ease the traffic situation.
Pacquio’s coach, Freddie Roach, has expressed concern over Pacquiao’s apparent self-contradiction. “I’m glad he’s standing up for what he believes, but it’s bound to confuse people since he has previously fought against the Reproductive Health Law, which primarily empowers women and protects mothers more than anyone. But who knows, maybe he’ll switch sides again after taking a few more punches to the face. It’s normal. It’s normal.”
When asked why his reaction comes so long after the Pope’s statements, Pacquio said “I don’t read very fast.”
Pope Francis was reached for comment, responding “So he’s not going to fight me in the ring anymore? What a pussy! For a grown man he sure can be such a girl.”