by Nick Giongco
Los Angeles — Hollywood’s greatest boxing hero showed up Saturday to support real life ring icon Manny Pacquiao at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood.
Academy Award winner Sylvester Stallone, best known for his portrayal of Rocky Balboa, showered the Filipino legend with praises as he was escorted inside to watch Pacquiao spar for six rounds.
“He’s the best fighter the last sixty years and he’s even better than Rocky Balboa,” said the 70-year-old Stallone, who won an Oscar in 1977 for his performance as Rocky Balboa in the movie “Rocky” which was so popular it spawned five sequels.
While Hollywood celebrities have dropped by the Wild Card to pay homage to boxing’s top attraction over the years, Stallone’s association with Pacquiao stretches back to his early days in the US.
The first time Stallone attended a Pacquiao fight was in July 2003 when he sat at ringside at the Olympic Auditorium.
Pacquiao was fighting just for the third time on American soil and he wowed Stallone with a brutal knockout of Emmanuel Lucero of Mexico.
Since then, Stallone had occasionally watch Pacquiao train and attended some of his fights in Las Vegas.
Apart from Stallone, other Hollywood hotshots who found time to see Pacquiao in person included Robert Duvall, Mark Wahlberg, Keanu Reeves and Mickey Rourke. Icons from the sporting world also made visits at the gym lured by Pacquiao’s legendary status.