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A Tale of Two Leaders: Pacquiao and Klitschko Battle COVID-19

As the world battles the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus, two world-class boxers—Manny Pacquiao and Vitali Klitschko– stand in the forefront of their respective countries’ struggle with the outbreak.

Filipino Senator Manny Pacquiao has been standing alongside his countrymen as they fight to contain the killer pandemic and is putting his money where his mouth is.

The future first ballot Hall of Famer has personally donated 600,000 face masks to frontline workers attempting to curb the spread of the virus and has teamed up with Alibaba CEO, Jack Ma, to donate 50,000 Covid-19 testing kits. He’s also contributed to organizational logistics by chartering busses for health workers to travel the nation in their battles to contain the killer virus.

“If you are a leader, you have to be a front-liner,” Pacquiao told the Manila Bulletin. “You have to lead people and let people see that you are with them. I grew up poor. I know what they feel.”

The multi-division champion says he’s not afraid to die in the effort to help his countrymen and has been preaching the words of Christ to calm those afraid during the health crisis.

The Philippines, as of this writing, has 501 confirmed cases of Coronavirus (Covid-19) with 33 confirmed deaths.

Meanwhile, the mayor of Kiev, Ukraine, Vitali Klitschko, has been engaged in his own tireless efforts to keep his people safe.

The retired former WBC world heavyweight champ has been aggressive in shutting down his city ahead of the virus. Along with the Ukraine’s nationwide lockdown order and banning of all international travel (both incoming and outgoing), Klitschko has had a hand in shutting down subway service and greatly restricting other means of transportation.

Most recently, the Hall of Famer made the bold move to ban all non-essential travelers from public transportation.

“Amid the rapid spread of coronavirus, we need to take more effective measures to limit social contacts in our city. That is why, on Monday, March 23, the capital’s public transport will carry only those passengers who go to work at critical enterprises of our city – medical workers, rescuers, law enforcement officers, utility service workers, the staff of groceries and pharmacies,” Klitschko said in a video address to his people.

As of this writing, the Ukraine has 73 confirmed cases of Coronavirus (Covid-19) with an unconfirmed amount of deaths.

Manny Pacquiao and Vitali Klitschko, two fighters known for their battle-hardened courage and sportsmanship, now face a much greater fight. Entrusted with the health and well-being of their fellow countrymen, these two warriors can’t afford to lose this particular battle.

Here’s wishing these two boxing greats success in this most important fight. And here’s wishing those other fighters—the medical workers, scientists, first responders, and other frontline workers in the battle against COVID-19—victory as well.

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Paul Magno
Paul Magno has over forty years of experience in and around the sport of boxing and has had his hand in everything, from officiating to training. As a writer, his work has appeared in several online publications, including Yahoo Sports, Fox Sports, FightHype, Max Boxing,, Inside Fights, The Boxing Tribune, The Queensberry Rules, and Premier Boxing Champions. You can reach him at: [email protected]
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