Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao is officially hanging up his gloves with the eight-division world champion and Philippines senator announcing his retirement from the ring.
The 42-year-old exits the sport as an all-time great, being the only fighter to win titles in eight different weight classes, with no other boxer matching his extraordinary feat of holding championship belts across four decades.
Pacquiao finished his 26-year, 72-fight career with 62 wins, eight losses and two draws and of those 62 wins, 39 were by knockout and 23 by decision.
Manny Pacquiao has announcing his retirement from boxing in a video on Facebook
The 42-year-old had revealed he will be running for president of the Philippines next year
‘As I hang up my boxing gloves, I would like to thank the whole world, especially the Filipino people for supporting Manny Pacquiao. Goodbye boxing,’ Pacquiao said in a 14-minute video posted on his Facebook page.
‘It is difficult for me to accept that my time as a boxer is over. Today I am announcing my retirement.’
His retirement from boxing followed a disheartening defeat to Yordenis Ugas Las Vegas last month, with the younger Cuban boxer beating Pacquiao by unanimous decision, retaining his WBA welterweight title.
It was Pacquiao’s first fight in more than two years, having not taken to the ring since his scintillating victory over Keith Thurman back in 2019.
‘Thank you for changing my life, when my family was desperate, you gave us hope, you gave me the chance to fight my way out of poverty,’ Pacquiao said in the video.
‘Because of you, I was able to inspire people all over the world. Because of you I have been given the courage to change more lives. I will never forget what I have done and accomplished in my life that I can’t imagine. I just heard the final bell. The boxing is over.’
He suffered defeat to Yordenis Ugas last month and had been hinting he could soon call it a day
The final chapter in Pacquiao’s career, albeit disappointing, does not tarnish what was an otherwise phenomenal career – one that arose out of the most difficult of circumstances.
Pacquiao was one of six siblings raised by a single-parent family in Kibawe, the southern province of Bukidnon.
Having dropped out of school at the age of 10, Pacquiao – who won 12 world titles throughout his stunning career – found the sport at the age of 12, where he fought in the streets with the prize of 100 pesos, or $1.97, for a win.
By 19, Pacquiao had his first world title in the bank, beating Thai Chatchai Sasakul to claim the WBC flyweight crown. And by 21, Pacquiao had also claimed the vacant WBC international super bantamweight title.
The always-game fighter would go on to share the ring with some of the most formidable names in boxing, including the likes of Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Floyd Mayweather and ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley.
Pacquiao memorably defeated Britain’s Ricky Hatton with a stunning knockout in 2009
His defeat to Floyd Mayweather in 2015 is the biggest grossing pay-per-view event of all time
Pacquaio had hinted at retirement recently. It also had been expected because he is setting his sights on a bigger political battlefield as earlier this month, he accepted his political party’s nomination and declared that that he will run for Philippines president in the May 2022 elections.
He has accused the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, his former ally, of making corruption worse in the Philippines. He promised to fight poverty and warned corrupt politicians they will soon end in jail.
Pacquiao’s rags-to-riches life story and legendary career brought honour to his nation, where he is known by his monikers Pacman, People’s Champ and National Fist.
He left his impoverished home in the southern Philippines as a teenager and stowed away on a ship bound for Manila. He made his professional boxing debut as a junior flyweight in 1995, at the age of 16, fighting his way out of abject poverty to become one of the world’s highest-paid athletes.
He wants to fight against corruption and accepted a nomination by the PDP-Laban Party
Eddie Banaag, a 79-year-old retiree, said Pacquiao was his idol as a boxer and he watched almost all of his fights. But he believes the boxing icon should have retired earlier.
‘He should have done that right after his victory over (Keith) Thurman,’ Banaag said of Pacquiao’s 2019 win over Thurman,his second-last fight.
‘It would have been better if he ended his boxing career with a win rather than a loss.’