Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao has been named a 2009 Gusi Peace Prize laureate, the only athlete in the elite group of 19 awardees from 16 different nations.
Established 22 years ago by Ambassador Barry Gusi and his wife, Dr. Evelyn Gusi, the Gusi Peace Prize is awarded annually to distinguished individuals or groups worldwide with exemplary contributions to peace and human rights representing fields of science, medicine, academe, politics, business, humanities, philanthropy, journalism, religion, international relations and others.
This year’s sole honoree from the U.S. will be Congressman Bob Filner, who represents California’s 51st congressional district. The 2009 laureates will be formally recognized at an awards dinner in Manila on November 24.
“I am truly humbled by this incredible honor and I would like to thank the Gusi family and the foundation,” said Pacquiao. “To be included in such a group of accomplished humanitarians is beyond anything I ever dreamed of. They are inspirational.
"The one lesson my countrymen have taught the world during the recent typhoons is never to give up. Help each other and rebuild. Nothing is impossible when we work together whether it’s curing the sick, feeding the hungry or nourishing the souls and minds with education.”
Pacquiao (49-3-2, 27 KOs), of General Santos City, Philippines, and a world champion in six different weight divisions, challenges WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto for his title, Saturday, November 14 at the soldout MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nev.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with MP Promotions, Miguel Cotto Promotions, MGM Grand and Tecate, Firepower: Pacquiao vs. Cotto will be produced and distributed Live on HBO Pay-Per-View, beginning at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.
HBO's fast-moving reality series "24/7 Pacquiao/Cotto" returns with an all new episode this Saturday, October 31 at 11 p.m. ET/PT.
The four-episode series chronicles the preparations and back stories of both fighters as they train for their November 14 pay-per-view showdown. Episode one is available on HBO ON DEMAND and HBO.com.