source: Tom Weir | USA Today
Roosters in the Philippines may be breathing easier today, now that Manny Pacquiao has announced he no longer will engage in cockfighting.
The man who has amassed eight world titles in boxing told SuperSport.com he has given away all his fighting cocks and that he also will forsake gambling as he segues into the role of goodwill ambassador for the Catholic Church.
"I am no longer in the vice business," Pacquiao told the website.
He added that, "I realize I was a weak person before. If I had died I believe my soul would have ended in hell . . . I had faith, but I was doing things which were against the will of God."
So Pacquiao also has sold his shares in a Manila casino and a nightclub.
Pacquiao is believed to have owned more than a thousand roosters worth about $700,000, according to SuperSport.com.
Cockfights have long been part of Philippine culture, with heavy betting on bouts where the birds are made additionally lethal with metal spurs attached to their legs.
"I have found my real peace and happiness now," said Pacquiao, who last month accepted the invitation to become a church spokesman. "I draw strength and inspiration from reading and hearing the word of God."