David Beckham supporting Pacquiao in Rios fight

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Football News

David Beckham has revealed that he is a fan of boxer Manny Pacquiao - and has backed the Filipino to beat Brandos Rios on Sunday.

The former Manchester United and England star hailed Pacquiao as an "inspirational person" after arriving in Macau, at the invitation of the casino where the fight is being held, ahead of the bout.

"It's obviously one of the reasons why I'm here and why I'm really excited being here. I'm a huge fan of Manny's," Beckham told reporters. "I met him a couple of years ago in the Philippines, when I was on tour there with the Galaxy and also there with UNICEF. And he truly is an inspirational person."

Pacquiao's latest fight comes just weeks after his native Philippines was left devastated by Typhoon Haiyan, which killed more than 4,000 people and left another four million people homeless.

And Beckham believes the tragedy will act as a driving force for Pacquiao during the fight.

"I haven't spoken to him, but I know how much this fight is going to mean to him this weekend because everything that is happening in the Philippines," the former Real Madrid winger added. "The eyes of the world have been on the Philippines the last couple of weeks and I know how much this is going to mean to him.

"He's not just loved around the world of sport or just around the world of boxing. But the way that people love him and are inspired by him. This fight will mean so much to him because for a slight moment this fight is going to put a smile on the people's faces in the Philippines. And we all send out love and our hopes to the people in that part of the world."

Pacquiao confirmed earlier this week that he hopes to make his compatriots happy after one of the worst months in the country's history.

"I am more motivated for this fight, to win this fight because what happened in the Philippines," he told Reuters. "My countrymen, I want to make them happy. To bring honour to my country."

Manny Pacquiao

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