LOS ANGELES –Having swapped each other’s signed items in the past, it’s no secret that NBA star Derrick Rose and former boxing pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao are friends.

When boxing’s only eight-division champion climbs the ring against Adrien Broner in the new year, Pacquiao wants his buddy to witness the action live, offering two tickets through the two athletes’ mutual friend, Homer Sayson, the U.S. bureau chief of Boxing News and Views.

“Oh wow, really?” said a pleasantly surprised Rose upon hearing the invite last Monday at Staples Center where his current team, the Minnesota Timberwolves, played the Los Angeles Clippers.

Rose recently darted back into the limelight when he scored 50 points against the Utah Jazz last week.

It was a feat of human achievement that endeared him more to his millions of fans around the world including the basketball crazy Philippines.

“That’s amazing bro,” Rose quipped.

A former Rookie of the Year (2009) and MVP (2011) winner. Rose is also a three-time All-Star. 

But he proved humble and incredibly down-to-earth. Truly, one of the rare good guys in the narcissistic world of professional sports.

As for Manny Pacquiao, he is currently completing a trip to the UK where he visited London and also spoke at some prestigious universities about his life and boxing career.