SEATTLE — While professional boxers are primarily known for their accomplishments within the ring, the actions of some outside the ring are certainly worth noting. Celebrities such as professional boxers are potentially valuable allies in the fight against poverty and encourage more people to invest in helping developing countries. Keep reading to learn more about professional boxers who give back.
Professional Boxers Who Give Back
- Muhammad Ali – It only makes sense to begin with one of the most iconic boxers of all time: the late Muhammad Ali. Although Muhammad Ali was made famous due to his personality and his skills as a professional boxer, he also invested a great deal of effort in helping those less fortunate than him. In 1978, Muhammad Ali delivered an address to the United Nations with a message against the system of apartheid that was affecting South Africa at the time. Ali also traveled to Cuba in 1998 and helped deliver $1.2 million worth of medical supplies to the people in the region, and made mission trips to North Korea and Afghanistan to promote goodwill. Thanks to his various efforts in helping developing countries, the United Nations named Muhammad Ali a Messenger of Peace in 1998.
- Badou Jack – One current professional boxer who has performed humanitarian work is Badou Jack. Through his foundation, the Swedish boxer worked to provide aid to the West African country of Gambia and has recently focused his efforts on helping refugee camps in places like Jordan, Syria and Palestine. One initial target for the Badou Jack Foundation is providing meals for Zaatari camp, which is estimated to hold over 80,000 Syrian refugees from the country’s civil war.
- Manny Pacquiao – Another professional boxer with a noteworthy track record of humanitarian work is Manny Pacquiao. In 2016, it was reported that Pacquiao was undertaking a project intended to provide over 1,000 homes in the Philippines for the homeless, with all the funding reportedly coming out of Pacquiao’s pocket. According to Pacquiao, the reason he is so passionate about helping the poor and homeless in his country of birth is because he relates to the struggles of the less than fortunate, due to his own background as a struggling person in the Philippines.
– Adam Abuelheiga