Pacquiao regrets that he won't be able to visit the typhoon-devastated areas in central Philippines to grieve and extend support to the typhoon victims as he needs to prepare for his upcoming return fight in Macau, China.
The fighting congressman from the Philippines singled out the US for its massive humanitarian aid and support. He also extended his appreciation to all nations around the world for their support.
"Being a congressman in Sarangani province in the Philippines, of course I'd first like to thank the government of the United States," Pacquiao told Yahoo Sports
"They sent a lot of troops there to help our people, and that's helped a lot. I really appreciate it. As a member of the house of representatives, we thank them for all their support, and to all the nations who have supported the Philippines." Pacquiao added.
Before flying to Macau for the final phase of his training, Pacquiao promised to send help to those who need it most.
"I really want to visit the area and personally do what I can to help our countrymen who have suffered so much in this terrible tragedy. But I'm in deep training for a crucial fight so I regret I cannot go."
"I will send help to those who need it the most," he added, "and I enjoin all of you to pray for our country and people in these trying times."
Roach admitted that the tragic event is a distraction that he wished would not have happened during the training camp.
"While he's focused on the fight, obviously it's a distraction because he cares about his people," Roach said in a teleconference on Wednesday. "We talk about it in the gym. He is concerned about it, yes, but he is pretty much on track for the fight." Read more:
Pacquiao is favored to win over the younger Rios but due to his long layoff from the sport, he may be in for a rough fight.
The Pacquiao-Rios fight will take place at the Cotai Arena, Venetian Resort & Casino in Macau, China on Saturday (Sunday in the Philippines).