As PacMan was training for his upcoming match with Juan Manuel Marquez, the Black Mamba was sitting ringside as one champion looked upon another. Pacquiao sparred against three different sparring partners with Bryant watching his every move for about an hour.
Bryant was able to meet and have a conversation with Pacquiao’s legendary trainer, Freddie Roach. “He’s a nice guy,” Roach told reporters about Kobe. “We talked a little bit. I enjoyed meeting him. He didn’t get a chance to talk to Manny that much because the training was about to start when he arrived.”
The Black Mamba and PacMan have met before because of a commercial shoot for Nike, and Kobe has shared his respect for Manny Pacquiao. “I love his tenacity,” Bryant told Philippine reporters in July about Pacquiao. “I love his competitiveness, you know what I mean?”