International boxing icon Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, a hero in his native Phillipines, was knocked to the canvas Sunday night during his fight against Juan Manuel Marquez. Seeking answers, his grieving mother, Dionesia, blamed the loss on her son’s recent switch from Catholicism to a ‘Protestant sect.’
“That’s what he gets for changing his religion,” Dionisia Pacquiao said in an interview in General Santos City, according to Inquirer.net.
Previously, the welterweight had worn his Catholic faith on his sleeve, ABS-CBNnews.com reports. Speaking with the site, boxing analyst Ronnie Nathanielsz said certain “rituals” seemed to bring a special significance to the boxer’s bouts.
“In the past, he put the rosary around his neck and prayed solemnly in one corner,” Nathanielsz said.
Dionisia Pacquiao told television program GMA 7 that her son’s new “Protestant pastors” had distracted the athlete and caused him to lose sleep by studying the Bible, according to Yahoo!
“Why did they take my son?” she said, “when he was quiet and was a champion when he belonged to his former religion?”