A recent Sports Illustrated feature revealed that back in the day, Pacquiao used to be a pretty crazy gambler.
Around 2011, Pacquiao and his younger brother, Bobby, would routinely fly to Southern California and drop $100,000 at the poker tables. Once, while gambling in Australia and Macau, Pacquiao went bust and called up his promoter, Bob Arum, to cover him.
However, the seediest gambling stories come from the Phillipines. Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer, and Buboy Fernandez, Pacquiao’s friend and assistant trainer, recounted a time they were all in the Philippines at a cockfight (cockfighting is legal in the Philippines). Pacquiao would typically drop a minimum bet of $50,000 for each fight, but one time he went a bit overboard — Pacquiao gambled a whopping 16 million pesos, or about $360,000, on a single cock. Fernandez explained:
“It needed to stop; I’m glad it stopped … He’s much happier without it.”
It was not revealed whether or not Pacquiao’s cock won that fight.
These days, Pacquiao seems to be over his once hardcore gambling habits — he now spends his money treating his family out to epic sushi meals or dropping millions on a Beverly Hills mansion. After taking nearly $100 million from his epic fight, hopefully Pacquiao’s better self will keep him out of Filipino cockfighting rings for good.