The world’s number one pound-for-pound boxer is in another big fight of his life. Besides facing Juan Manuel Marquez in the ring for the third time in November, Manny Pacquiao is battling another challenge, a marital one.

News spread fast after the popular tabloid Bulgar published several photos showing the christening of the supposed lovechild of Manny Pacquiao and Kat Ordoñez, a 22-year-old Culinary Arts student. The baptismal of the child, who is almost 1 year of age, caught attention because of the bigtime ninongs that included actor Philip Salvador, singer/composer Lito Camo, and the People’s Champ himself.

The day after, Kat Ordoñez denied the allegation in a showbiz program, saying that the father of her child is Congressman Pacquiao’s former assistant who is now working in Dubai. Speculations continued: How come Manny attended the event from start to finish, even as he had a very important taping for his game show that same day? News said he looked like he was even entertaining the guests and was grinning from ear to ear the whole time.

The christening of the child was held in St. Francis de Assisi Church in Mandaluyong City last September 17 and the reception followed at Edsa Shangri-La Hotel. Pacquiao, busy training for his big fight, has not commented on the issue which might distract his focus. After his media blitz for the Marquez fight earlier this year, the Filipino sports icon has done his best to stay out of the limelight and focus entirely on fight preparation.

The legal and beauteous wife of the Pambansang Kamao, Jinkee Pacquiao, has offered to give away her expensive Hermes bag to anyone who can prove that her husband has a recent affair. Jinkee’s friends suggested DNA testing to prove paternity of Kat’s child.

The boxing superstar has figured in several extra-marital controversies that stormed their marriage. In 2006, Joanna Rose Bacosa sued Manny Pacquiao for violation of Republic Act No. 9262, which protects women from violence, and to seek support for their alleged lovechild, a boy. Earlier this year, Manny Pacquiao admitted on the radio show of Ted Failon and Korina Sanchez on DZMM that he could have possibly fathered a child with a Cebu-based woman but that it only happened because he was drunk and the woman has a different boyfriend then. Months ago, starlet Princess Snell was also rumored to be pregnant and the alleged father is Manny Pacquiao, both camps vehemently denied it.

There were also actresses Ara Mina, Valerie Concepcion, and Krista Ranillo. Krista was probably the most painful for Jinkee, who was seen crying during a mass and turning to celebrity friends for advice and comfort. Krista, based in the USA, is already married and has a child who reportedly looks like Manny. Telenovela antagonist Valerie Concepcion received text messages from Jinkee herself even as she denied the rumors. Pacman was said to have offered her a house and made her ride a private jet going to General Santos City.

On another note, Pacquiao may be labeled certified Playboy – cover boy, that is. He is in the cover of the November issue of Playboy magazine. Writer Kevin Cook authored the story titled “In the Jungle with Manny Pacquiao,” where he chronicled Pacman’s rise among both the boxing and political ranks. Cook wrote that Pacquiao prefers his own country to Las Vegas and New York, and that he believes growing up in the Philippines gave him his determination and fighting style. But, the champion seems bent on not fighting in the Philippines despite local politicians begging him to.

The world will once again watch this Playboy as he goes into the ring in November. Maybe Jinkee will not be by his side this time. But it is certain that his millions of fans all over the world will still cheer for him. Because, after all, they are more interested in the battles he fights in the ring. #

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