On Thursday, January 11, Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao welcomed former NBA star Dwight Howard and members of Strong Group Athletics to his residence in Makati City.
Dwight Howard jokingly remarked that he has “finally found” a coach to get him ready for a potential bout with boxer and YouTuber Jake Paul, and that coach is none other than the Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao.
Howard and members of the Strong Group Athletics (SGA) team visited the former boxer and senator at Pacquiao’s home.
The perpetually humorous Howard shared videos of their meeting on his official account.
“Me and Manny Pacquiao. Jake Paul, I’m coming for you, baby!” Howard said in the video.
“I’m coming. Let’s go!” he added.
In town to support the Strong Group crew participating in the Dubai International Basketball Championship this month, Howard engaged in a game of chess with Pacquiao and succeeded in having his shoe autographed by the boxing legend.
The NBA star, renowned as the three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year and eight-time All-Star with the moniker “Superman” from his prime, went to the extent of proposing a three-point shooting contest to Pacquiao.
“Who y’all got? Me and Manny in a three-point [contest]. Y’all think he can beat me?” Howard said in a video posted on Instagram.
“I saw Manny Pacquiao was in Taiwan while I was in the Philippines; how ironic. Long story short, it all worked out and I finally found a trainer to prepare me for this Jake Paul fight,” Howard said.
Certainly, Pacquiao is familiar with basketball, having had a brief stint playing in the PBA.
“After Dubai, I’m coming back here and I’m going against you. The real Thrilla in Manila,” added Howard, referencing the historic 1975 heavyweight title fight between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier at the Araneta Coliseum.