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Manny Pacquiao picks Ashanti songs for pre-fight playlist

Ashanti sings the national anthem before the Brooklyn

Ashanti sings the national anthem before the Brooklyn Nets vs Oklahoma City Thunder NBA game at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Nov. 3, 2014. Credit: EPA / ANDREW GOMBERT

Manny Pacquiao has released the playlist he will use to get ready for Saturday’s “Fight of the Century” against Floyd Mayweather and it has an unexpectedly Long Island tilt.

Sure, the 17-song playlist has Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger.” It has some current hits – including Wiz Khalifa’s “See You Again,” Maroon 5’s “Sugar,” and Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud.” But the big surprise is that he has two songs from Glen Cove’s Ashanti, both old-school with “Rock Wit U” and her hit from last year “I Got It,” featuring Rick Ross.

Apparently, the admiration is mutual. Pacquiao and Ashanti met last year at a Knicks game at Madison Square Garden, when they were seated next to each other courtside and quickly struck up a friendship.

“I told her I was a big fan and asked her if she would sing the U.S. National Anthem at my fight against Timothy Bradley,” Pacquiao said in a statement. “She quickly checked her schedule and then said she could and she would. The Knicks may have lost that night, but I felt like the biggest winner in the world when I walked out of Madison Square Garden.”

Ashanti told Pacquiao that she was a huge fan of his as well. “I actually love boxing,” she said in a statement before Pacquiao’s fight against Bradley. “Manny's such a champion, and I can't wait to cheer him on.”

No word on who Ashanti, currently working on her follow-up to last year’s “Braveheart” album, will be rooting for Saturday night.

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