Greatest showdown: Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz switches role with boxer Manny Pacquiao for a day

March 31, 2023 - 2:37 PM
Manny Pacquiao and Hidilyn Diaz pose at the "Greatest Showdown of the Year" event by Alaxan FR in Unilab Bayanihan Center on March 29, 2023 (Alaxan FR/Released)

Olympic weightlifting champion Hidilyn Diaz and ultimate boxing legend Manny Pacquiao took center stage on Wednesday when both of them dared each other to switch roles and try a sport they’ve never specialized in.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics gold medalist attempted to box, while the eight-division world boxing champion tried to lift a weightlifting bar at a showdown at the Unilab Bayanihan Center in Pasig City on March 29.

The weightlifting wonder was given a minute to throw 50 punches while Manny held the punching pads for her.

Hidilyn was given a chance to practice with the boxing champing before doing the dare, which she said was an “honor.”

Hidilyn Diaz Sparring
Weightlifting champion Hidilyn Diaz was dared to spar for a minute, coached by boxing icon Manny Pacquiao at the Alaxan’s Showdown of the Year (Alaxan FR/Released)

When Hidilyn eventually did the challenge, the Pinay pride expectedly outdid herself by throwing 160 successive punches in a minute — 110 punches more than the expected number.

Manny, on the other hand, was coached by Hidilyn in lifting a weightlifting bar and performing a clean and jerk — her specialty in the Olympics.

A clean and jerk is when the athlete lifts the weightlifting bar to the shoulders and then overhead.

The jerk refers to the athlete’s chosen competitive jerk style as they fully extend the weightlifting bar overhead.

Manny Pacquiao Weightlifting
Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao accepted the challenge to lift weights, and Diaz taught him proper posture for the clean and jerk technique (Alaxan FR/Released)

Similar to Hidilyn, the world-renowned boxer was given a chance to practice.

Manny did not get it right at first but with the Olympian’s step-by-step guidance, he was able to execute the movement successfully.

Like Hidilyn, Manny was able to impress his challenger as well.

“Magaling siya,” the weightlifting champion commented on the southpaw’s efforts.

The showdown was made possible by the efforts of famous pain reliever medicine brand, Alaxan FR.

The pain reliever is Manny’s longtime go-to after his bouts.

According to the professional boxer, he has been taking the medicine since 2001, the year he had his very first fight in the United States.

Pain Management Talk
Unilab Medical Doctor Dr. Jonas Policarpio joined the Alaxan ambassadors and discussed proper pain management, debunking misconceptions about pain medicines (Alaxan FR/Released)

“Alaxan FR ang naging kaagapay ko for the past 22 years,” Manny earnestly said.

“Ngayong 44 years old na ako, masasabi kong malusog at malakas pa rin ako, at ‘di ako nangangamba kapag nakararanas ng sakit ng katawan dahil sinusunod ko ang correct dose,” he added.

The boxing legend said he also uses the pain reliever to fight body pains from his non-athletic endeavors.

For Hidilyn, Alaxan is her “trusted companion,” especially since she is currently training for Paris 2024 or the 2024 Summer Olympics.

“Kilala ang mga Pinoy bilang masisipag kaya talagang isinasabuhay ko ‘to hanggang ngayon. Kapag weightlifter ka, hindi talaga maiiwasan ‘yong sakit ng katawan,” she shared.

“I’m sure marami rin sa atin ang nakakaranas ng ganito sa araw-araw, kaya importante na mayroong trusted companion gaya ng Alaxan na tumutulong labanan ang body pain at magpatuloy sa laban,” the four-time Olympian added.

The pain relief medicine has been trusted by Filipinos for 50 years already.

It has a combined lower level of Ibuprofen and Paracetamol than other brands, making it safe and free from causing serious side effects.