MANNY Pacquiao is officially hanging up his boxing gloves.
The Filipino boxing legend made the announcement Wednesday, September 29 (Manila time), through a video posted on his social media accounts.
“It is difficult for me to accept that my time as a boxer is over. Today, I am announcing my retirement,” said Pacquiao.
“I never thought that this day would come. As I hang up my boxing gloves, I would like to thank the whole world, especially the Filipino people, for supporting Manny Pacquiao,” he added.
Pacquiao’s retirement followed a disheartening loss to Yordenis Ugás of Cuba in a fight for the World Boxing Association super welterweight belt on August 21.
Ugás defeated him via unanimous decision, retaining his WBA welterweight title.
It was Pacquiao’s first fight after two years outside of the ring.
The Pinoy boxer cemented his status as a boxing Hall of Famer after his impressive victories over Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Juan Manuel Marquez, Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito, Ricky Hatton, Timothy Bradley, and Keith Thurman.
He is also the only eight-division champion in boxing history, winning his first world title as a flyweight in 1998. To date, he has won 12 world titles.
Pacquiao finished his 26-year boxing career with a record of 62 wins, eight losses, and two draws. Of those 62 wins, 39 were by knockout and 23 by decision.
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“Who would’ve thought that Manny Pacquiao will end up with twelve major world titles in eight different weight divisions? Even me, I’m amazed at what I have done,” the boxer said in his video statement.
“Hold the record of being the only boxer to hold world titles in four different decades, and become the oldest fighter to win a world welterweight title? Amazing accomplishment that I never thought I would accomplish,” he added.
Pacquiao also thanked boxing for changing his life, helping him overcome poverty to become one of the richest athletes in the world.
“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. 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,” he said.
“I just heard the final bell… tapos na ang boxing. Maraming, maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat (the boxing is over. Thank you very much to all of you),” he added.
With his retirement, Pacquiao will now focus on his political career as he seeks the country’s top post in the 2022 national elections.
On September 19, he officially accepted the nomination to be standard-bearer of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) faction that he co-leads with Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III.
“I am a fighter and I will always be a fighter inside and outside the ring. Sa buong buhay ko, wala akong laban na inaatrasan dahil sa ngalan ng prinsipyo, karangalan ng bayan ay tumayo ako, nanindigan at nakikipaglaban (In my entire life, I have never backed down from a fight as I stand firm in the name of principle and honor of country),” said Pacquiao during his speech.
“Ang Manny Pacquiao na nasa harap ninyo ngayon ay pinanday ng hirap… Ang Manny Pacquiao na pilit nilang pinababagsak ay ilang beses nang bumangon, nagsikap at nagtagumpay (The Manny Pacquiao in front of you today was forged by poverty… The Manny Pacquiao that they have been trying to take down has risen back up many times, worked hard, and won),” he added.
The campaign period for national positions will begin on February 8 to May 7 next year, while the campaign period for local positions will be from March 25 to May 7.
The 2022 national elections will be held on May 9, 2022.