Boxing: Manila-born ex-NFLer Tim Tebow pays Manny Pacquiao visit ahead of big bout

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Filipino icon Manny Pacquiao received a visit from Manila-born former National Football League quarterback Tim Tebow for a weekend workout sesssion ahead of his May showdown with undefeated Floyd Mayweather.

Tebow watched Pacquiao train for nearly three hours on Saturday, including seven rounds of sparring and eight rounds of punching into mitts at the Wild Card gym of "Pac-Man" trainer Freddie Roach.

"It was the first time they had ever met and yet it seemed they had known each other forever the way they immediately embraced each other," promoter Bob Arum said.

Pacquiao, 57-5 with two draws and 38 knockouts, will meet Mayweather, 47-0 with 26 knockouts, on May 2 in Las Vegas for a bout expected to shatter boxing revenue record.

Tebow, born to Baptist missionaries in the Philippines in 1987, went from unknown backup to NFL star when he sparked the Denver Broncos into the 2011 NFL playoffs. He later played for the New York Jets and recently tried out for the Philadelphia Eagles despite missing the past two NFL campaigns.

Tebow, who will open a hospital in the Philippines on May 1, is also famed for his kneeling celebration known as Tebowing.

While Roach normally dislikes any distractions in Pacqiuao's training routine, Tebow was a welcomed disruption.

"It was an unbelievable scene," Roach said. "Tim Tebow is a great competitor, a standup guy who embraces his responsibility for being a good role model. He and Manny shared a lot. It was terrific."

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