Last updated: 26 november, 2010 - 10:11 GMT

Manny Pacquiao: His life story from poverty to prosperity

In this exclusive two-part documentary, Mike Costello travels to the Philippines to meet boxing legend, record-breaking eight times world champion, politician and national hero - Manny Pacquiao.

Mike catches up with Manny at the gym ahead of his recent fight with click Antonio Margarito - which he won.

He also meets up with his old friends and trainers - as well as Filipino analysts, economists and politicians - to discuss boxing, God, politics and the inspiration that one man can give to a nation.

Part One

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Mike begins his journey travelling through Manny Pacquiao's homeland - the Philippines - to gauge a sense of what he means to this country of 93 million people.

His story is an amazing real-life fairytale on a scale that is even rare in the world of boxing.

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Manny came from a very poor family and was raised by a single mother, so it is no surprise that in a nation where a third of the population live on less than a dollar a day - his rise to prosperity has been so captivating.

The Philippines also has a very profound Catholic culture and the fact that Manny kneels down in prayer before every fight, has had a massive impact on his appeal.

He is a devout Catholic whose faith in God had led him to have unprecedented success in the world of boxing.

Follow Mike as he traces this rags to riches story of a small town boy, who once sold doughnuts in the streets to feed his family.

First broadcast on 26 November 2010

Part Two

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Mike looks at Manny Pacquiao's move into politics. Now that his ambitions are divided between the ring and Congress, could his boxing days soon be over?

Manny Pacquiao

Manny believes good time management can help his political career

Manny was elected in May 2010 to represent the impoverished southern province of Sarangani in the Philippines Congress.

His first venture into politics was unsuccessful as he lost his run for the House of Representatives in the same year.

But Manny - showing the fighting spirit that has characterised his boxing career - bounced back and turned that defeat into a landslide victory in this year's Congressional elections.

In the Philippines, it is cultural for people to vote for popularity - there are many other TV and movie stars who have been elected.

When Manny Pacquiao fights there’s no traffic, there's no crime - it’s amazing how big he is here.

Freddie Roach, Manny's trainer

However not many sportsmen have made this transition into politics at the peak of their career.

Some are sceptical about his role as politician - they feel that the only time he is ever mentioned is when he fights.

They are worried whether he will be able to sustain the attention when it comes to fighting for people's needs and rights.

Manny's poverty stricken childhood is what has driven his dream to become a politician but can he be effective just because he knows what it's like to be poor?

First broadcast on 3 December 2010

An All Out Production for BBC World Service - produced by Lyndon Saunders.

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