Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao Ends Storied Boxing Career ahead of Philippine Presidential Run

Aie Balagtas See
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Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao Ends Storied Boxing Career ahead of Philippine Presidential Run Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines enters the ring for his last fight against Yordenis Ugas of Cuba, during the WBA Welterweight Championship boxing match in Las Vegas, Aug. 21, 2021.

Eight-time world boxing champ Manny Pacquiao announced his retirement from the ring Wednesday as he prepares for his toughest fight yet – winning the Philippine presidency in next year’s election.

In a 14-minute pre-recorded speech posted on Facebook, the Philippine senator looked back on his colorful professional boxing career that spanned almost three decades, starting as an Olympics reject to become a worldwide legend in the sport.

“It is difficult for me to accept that my time as a boxer is over. Today, I am announcing my retirement. I never thought that this day would come,” Pacquiao said.

“I just heard the final bell. The boxing is over.”

The sport gave him a ticket out of poverty, said the ex-boxer nicknamed “Pacman,” as he thanked his fans and people who supported him during his career.

“Goodbye, boxing. Thank you for changing my life when my family was desperate. You gave us hope. You gave me the chance to fight our way out of poverty,” Pacquiao said.

“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.”

According to his Philippines statement of assets in the Senate last year, Pacquaio’s net worth was 3.18 billion pesos (about $64 million).

Pacquiao also said he would support younger boxers in hopes of producing more Filipino champions in the future.

In his last match in August, Pacquiao lost the WBA welterweight title against Cuban champion Yordenis Ugas. 

Talks were rife for a possible rematch, but the Philippine boxer decided against it, leaving his fight record at 63 wins – 39 in knockouts, eight losses, and two draws.

Running for president

Earlier this month, Pacquaio announced his candidacy to join the 2022 presidential election, after being backed by a faction of the ruling PDP-Laban party, which is divided by a power struggle with President Rodrigo Duterte. 

The constitution bars the incumbent from running for a second term. Duterte has also announced plans to contest the vice presidency as part of a move to evade prosecution for thousands of extrajudicial killings committed under his administration’s war on drugs, according to analysts.

The official filing for the candidacies will take place only during the first week of October. It is not clear which PDP-Laban factions the Commission on Elections will recognize as legitimate. 

Pacquiao said he would campaign for the presidency on a pledge to rid the Philippines of poverty and corruption. 

He will likely face other political giants, including Vice President Leni Robredo, as well as the son and namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Duterte’s daughter Sara, and Manila citys popular mayor, Francisco Domagoso. 

Sara Duterte has said she would no longer contest the presidency, but her strong showing in polls could change the mind of the fiery mayor of southern Davao city.

In the latest survey by independent pollster Pulse Asia that covers Sept. 6 to 11, Sara Duterte led all possible candidates at 20 percent, while Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Domagoso, and Pacquiao polled at 15 percent, 13 percent, and 12 percent, respectively.

Pacquiao will be leaving the ring as a star but, as a politician, he will end his six-year term as a senator next year with one of the worst track records, beginning with his abysmal record of attendance in Congress. 

According to his own party, the ruling PDP-Laban, which ousted him as its leader in July, there is not a single significant piece of legislation attached to his name.


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