LAS VEGAS – Manny Pacquiao's marital issues with his wife, Jinkee, were so severe that on the day of his fight last November with Juan Manuel Marquez, she refused to leave her suite to accompany him to the arena.
As a result, Pacquiao was significantly late arriving to his locker room and had only about 10 minutes to warm up before he walked to the ring. Pacquiao won a majority decision over Marquez on Nov. 12 at the MGM Grand Garden in what has been regarded as his poorest performance in years.
In addition, Pacquiao's sleep was irregular during training camp because he spent long hours on the phone with his wife in the Philippines while he was in camp in Los Angeles. At the time she was contemplating a divorce.
Pacquiao had wanted to renew wedding vows with his wife. Lovee Arum, the wife of promoter Bob Arum, arranged for a ceremony on Nov. 13 inside the wedding chapel at the Wynn Hotel, but Jinkee declined to attend.
Pacquiao, who defends his World Boxing Organization welterweight title Saturday at the MGM Grand against unbeaten Timothy Bradley, insisted the issues made no impact on him. His long-time trainer, Freddie Roach, disagreed.
Roach said the discord between the Pacquiaos "didn't help" Manny's performance and said there was a noticeable difference in him when he arrived at the arena.
Roach said he had to cut Pacquiao's ritual pre-fight prayer short because he needed to get him to begin his warm-up. As it was, Pacquiao only had about 10 minutes, which Roach said was not nearly enough time.
"When he came into the dressing room, he wasn't smiling and he wasn't the old Manny Pacquiao I'm used to," Roach said. "He was [very late arriving] and he didn't have the kind of focus you normally get from him. Obviously, he was going through a pretty serious situation in his personal life and his wife was threatening to divorce him, so that's tough for anyone to handle. I wasn't thrilled with the performance, but I'm not that critical of it given everything that was happening."
Pacquiao has had what he calls "a spiritual reawakening" and has embraced the Catholic faith. He's made changes in his personal life, saying he's given up extramarital affairs, gambling and cockfighting, among other vices, in order to make things better with his wife.
He refused, though, to blame the turmoil in November on his less-than-stellar performance against Marquez.
"I underestimated him, and he's a good fighter," Pacquiao said. "I was physically at my peak. I felt 100 percent physically."
Fighters in the main event of a pay-per-view card normally report to the arena about 15 minutes before the start of the broadcast. In that case, that would have given Pacquiao about three hours before he had to walk to the ring for the fight.
Yahoo! Sports received several estimates from persons in his entourage about his arrival time, with the earliest saying Pacquiao arrived 75 minutes later than normal and others saying he was slightly more than 90 minutes late.
He left his hotel suite on time, but refused to proceed to the arena until his wife agreed to accompany him. Several members of his entourage went to her suite, a floor below, to plead with her. But according to witnesses, she did not emerge until Pacquiao himself went down and spent time talking with her behind closed doors.
When he finally arrived in the locker room, it was like a party scene, filled with reporters, cameramen and television technicians, athletic commission personnel, members of the band Green Day as well as his oversized entourage.
He was posing for photos with the band and had to give a urine sample for drug testing before leaving the locker room. He also had to meet with the referee to go over rules and to address any complaints he or Marquez might have had.
When the fight ended and Pacquiao was being stitched, Jinkee sat with her husband and several of her friends read Bible verses aloud. Most of them had to do with infidelity.
Bob Arum said Pacquiao has done what he can to try to repair his relationship with his wife and said criticisms of Pacquiao for having professed his religious beliefs publicly before while living a less-than-pious lifestyle are erroneous.
"He has always been a spiritual person, more so than most people, but he did what a lot of people in his position did," Arum said. "He made mistakes, but he didn't commit any crime. Gambling's not illegal. Not even cock fighting is illegal [in the Philippines]. You may have a moral feeling about cock fighting, but it wasn't illegal.
"But regardless of that, he loves his wife and he is doing what he can to fix it. Because of the time difference here and the Philippines, he was on the phone after he was done training [in the Marquez camp] talking to Jinkee for hours and hours. He knew he needed rest and what not, but what was most important to him was fixing his relationship with his wife."
[TopRank.TV: Watch Manny Pacquiao fight Timothy Bradley live on PPV]Pacquiao goes to bible study daily and has brought Pastor Jeric Soriano with him to Los Angeles to help him.
He said his religious devotion have had no impact on his preparation for Bradley. Roach said Pacquiao has had a superb camp and is in a much better frame of mind than for the fight with Marquez.
"When I committed my life to the Lord, I gave up many things that were not in keeping with what the Bible teaches," Pacquiao said. "Boxing is a job and I do not look at it as anything more than that. [My religious beliefs] will not affect my job."Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
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