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Mark Wahlberg Loves Manny Pacquiao, Reminiscent of Micky Ward

Dec 1, 2008 – 9:49 AM
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Michael David Smith

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A week before his fight with Oscar De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao and his trainer, Freddie Roach, had a famous guest at training camp: actor Mark Wahlberg.

"I've come to see the man," Wahlberg said on HBO's De La Hoya/Pacquiao 24/7. "Freddie's been a friend of mine for a long time, and I'm a big fan of Pacquiao. It's nice to see him in person. I've seen him fight a couple times, but to see him this up close and personal is worth the trip. I'm going to bring my son down. I have a ring in my house because I've been training to do the Irish Micky Ward story for a couple of years. My son's always beating me up, and he calls himself Pacquiao."

The Irish Micky Ward story that Wahlberg refers to is the upcoming film The Fighter, in which Wahlberg will play Ward, a boxer who retired in 2003 after his trilogy of fights with Arturo Gatti. And it's easy to see why, if Wahlberg admires Ward, he would be a Pacquiao fan: Ward was an exciting, hard-hitting brawler. A lot like Pacquiao -- except that Pacquiao is a better boxer than Ward ever was.

We'll have a Pacquiao-De La Hoya live blog on Saturday night here at FanHouse.
Filed under: Sports