Drake is not only celebrated for his chart-topping hits but also for his unexpected foray into the world of sports, particularly combat sports. While he may not have stepped into the ring himself, Drake’s humorous impersonation of boxing legend Manny Pacquiao left an indelible mark on the entertainment world.
Drake’s ascent to stardom began in the late 2000s when he burst onto the music scene with a series of mixtapes that showcased his unique fusion of rap and R&B. His magnetic talent swiftly garnered a devoted fan base, propelling him to international acclaim and earning him numerous awards.
Beyond his musical prowess, Drake has cultivated a reputation as a fervent enthusiast of combat sports, specifically boxing and mixed martial arts. His penchant for placing bets on high-profile matches has become well-known within the combat sports community. However, it was his uncanny impression of Manny Pacquiao that truly set tongues wagging.
In 2014, Drake assumed the role of host for the ESPYs Award Show, a prominent event that celebrates excellence in sports. The stage was set for a night of memorable moments, and one of the standout highlights involved Damian Lillard captivating the audience before Drake made his grand entrance.
Drake’s arrival on the scene was subtle but soon transformed into a hilarious impersonation of Manny Pacquiao. During an interview segment, Drake effortlessly mimicked Pacquiao’s distinctive accent, leaving the audience in splits. What truly sealed the deal was Drake’s rendition of “Let It Go” from the animated movie Frozen, performed entirely in Manny Pacquiao’s voice.
The attention to detail was remarkable, with Drake’s stylist ensuring that his appearance, including his hair and beard, bore an uncanny resemblance to the boxing legend. As Drake humorously remarked during the interview, “Sometimes people only want Manny Pacquiao to fight. All the time, I can’t fight for the rest of my life, you know. I have to do different things that make me happy. So, I like to sing.”
The performance not only tickled the funny bone of the audience but also drew the approval of Manny Pacquiao himself. The eight-division world champion, who officially retired from professional boxing in September 2021 with an impressive record of 62 wins and 8 losses, found Drake’s impersonation utterly delightful.
While Pacquiao had seemingly bid farewell to the boxing ring, he made a surprising return for an exhibition bout in December 2022. The Filipino icon faced Korean influencer DK Yoo and emerged victorious via a unanimous decision, demonstrating that his fighting spirit remains undiminished.