Updated: Oct 5, 2021
Legendary boxer Manny Pacquaio announced his retirement from boxing Tuesday night. One of the greatest boxers of all time, just three months shy of his 43rd birthday, had one of the most storied careers in boxing history. Pacquaio is the only eight-division champion in boxing history, winning his first title at 108 pounds and somehow capturing another at 154 pounds. Some of his most memorable moments include the 2015 fight against Floyd Mayweather that shattered plenty of records and a plethora of thrilling fights with his greatest rival, Juan Manuel Marquez.
Pacquiao had a meteoric rise to superstardom in the 2000s, highlighted by spectacular knockouts of notable fighters no matter the weight class he was fighting despite his miniature 5’5 size. Some of his victories on his incredible resume include being victorious over Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Marquez, Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito, Ricky Hatton, Timothy Bradley and, most recently, Keith Thurman. The latest victory over Thurman made Pacquiao the oldest welterweight champion of all time at nearly 41 years of age, one of his last iconic performances of his storied career.
Perhaps his greatest victory of all was his mesmerizing performance in 2008 against Oscar De Loya, which is what truly transformed him into a boxing icon. It was a eight round TKO in a tenacious beating from the opening bell in what was Pacquiao’s welterweight debut, the division in what helped make him commercially successful.
Pacquiao is a three-time Ring magazine and BWAA Fighter of the Year, winning the both awards three times throughout his career(2006,2008, and 2009). He won the Best Fighter ESPY Award in 2009 and 2011, while also ranking second on ESPN’s top boxers, pound for pound of the last 25 years in 2016.
In the press conference Pacquiao stated "Even me, I'm amazed at what I have done," Pacquiao, who won 12 world titles, said in the 14-plus-minute retirement video he posted on social media. "The only boxer to hold world titles in four different decades and became the oldest boxer to win a world welterweight title, an amazing accomplishment." He also stated “It is difficult for me to accept that my time as a boxer is over," he added. "Today, I am announcing my retirement. 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."
It has been a remarkable career for Pacquiao where he had a career record of 62-8-2, 39 KOs. He was the rare athlete to transcend the sport of boxing, helping generate millions of viewers and fans over the years and having a gentle, caring personality outside the ring, keeping that smile on his face that he’s had all these years.
Pacquiao has become a great philanthropist for his home country, the Philippines, and is planning on bidding to become President there, where he now plans to put his energy toward after earning hundreds millions of dollars after a legendary boxing career.
As he stated in his final goodbyes "Goodbye, boxing. Thank you for changing my life," Pacquiao said. "You gave me the chance to find a 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. I will never forget what I have done and accomplished in my life. I can't imagine that I have just heard the final bell." Salute to Pacquiao on an emblematic career that reached global status, while also inspiring many kids in the Philippines.