Why Manny Pacquiao Retires as One of the Greatest of All Time

| September 29, 2021 7:06 am PDT

And just like that, Manny Pacquiao retires from boxing.

The ring legend has decided to call it a day on the sport in order to focus his full efforts on running for the presidency of the Philippines in the 2022 elections.

It’s clear to anyone with an interest in the sport that Pacquiao was one of the greatest boxers of all time. And while it’s a sad day for the sport, it’s also an opportunity to remember just how special this guy was.

Although many fans will find it hard to believe that the living legend has officially hung up his gloves, there is seemingly no coming back for “Pac-Man.” Thus ends one of the most iconic careers in the history of prizefighting.

A disappointing loss to Yordenis Ugas in Las Vegas in August was hardly the end most of us wanted for the eight-division world champion.

But if anything, it proved the old adage that Father Time remains undefeated.

Pacquiao Confirms His Retirement from Boxing

“I just heard the final bell. Boxing is over.”Manny Pacquiao

For a large portion of fans in the sport, that statement rings especially true.

The multi-weight world champion was a god-like figure in his homeland who had literally fought his way out of extreme poverty and ended up at the apex of the fight game. His glittering career resembled a movie, with the protagonist more than often getting the win.

But those days are now over. And the country that would grind to a halt when their hero fought will now have to embrace life without him carrying the nation’s flag into battle.

The decision to walk away from boxing was not an easy one for Pac-Man. There were still fights to be had, and he by no means exits the ropes without his pride intact.

But as all great things must come to an end, it’s time to say goodbye to the career of Manny Pacquiao.

Now 42 years old, it’s incredible to consider what the legendary champion achieved having made his professional debut at just 16 in 1995.

The Senator uploaded a video to social media explaining that the time had come to step away from boxing, reflecting on many of his highs in the game.

Pac-Man spent time thanking his fans and those close to him, including Hall of Fame coach Freddie Roach who he described as “family, a brother, and a friend.”

“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. I will never forget what I have done and accomplished in my life.”

The ferocious southpaw, who traded General Santos for Manila as a teenager, did so to escape poverty. Pacquiao thrust himself into boxing, first harboring dreams of fighting for the Philippines in the Olympic Games.

When he was turned down by The Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines, he turned professional, making pennies for his first bouts.

Although the death of his Olympic dream was a clear kick in the teeth for the youngster, it was just another obstacle he had to overcome to achieve his destiny at the summit of prizefighting.

How Pacquiao Reached the Top

A life of poverty had given the southerner a type of hunger that would fuel a remarkable rise to the top.

Having put 12 consecutive wins together, Pacquiao was knocked out in the 13th pro fight of his career by Rustico Torrecampo in February 1996.

By December 1998, Pacquiao was a WBC flyweight world champion. His third-round KO of Chatchai Sasakul set the wheels in motion for a blistering run on the international scene.

Three years later, Pacquiao stunned the world by defeating Lehlohonolo Ledwaba for the IBF super-bantamweight title at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Fighting on the undercard of Oscar De La Hoya vs. Javier Castillejo headliner, the Filipino had just two weeks to prepare for the bout as a late stand-in for the injured Enrique Sanchez.

Although he made just $40,000 for the win in his US debut, it would mark the genesis of a career that rivals anything the “sweet science” had ever achieved.

A total of 12 titles across eight weight divisions were attained, with the Filipino earning multiple honors and accolades.

He would become the first fighter to hold world championships spanning four decades, the oldest welterweight world champion, and much more.

Just How Good Was Pacquiao?

In a nutshell, Pacquiao is one of the greatest fighters of all time.

The Flipino bows out from the sport as the greatest southpaw in the history of boxing, with a career that is unlikely to ever be matched.

With fighters and their promoters more concerned with protecting unbeaten records for a higher percentage of the purse, you won’t see many icons willing to risk as much as Pacquiao did.

The 42-year-old leaves with his head held high and a resume that others can only dream of.

Wins over Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto, Juan Manuel Marquez, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, and Ricky Hatton were among the highlights of his run as a pound-for-pound superstar.

Pacquiao flummoxed fans around the globe with his incredible speed, footwork, and attacking gifts. His fights were unmissable and as entertaining as they got in the sport.

There were dizzying heights and nauseous lows, with losses to Marquez, Morales, and Bradley especially tough to take. But he would always bounce back.

Although a fight with Floyd Mayweather would eventually happen in 2015, it was a good six or seven years past its sell-by date.

The two remained rivals until Mayweather effectively retired after beating Andre Berto, turning instead to marquee fights and money-spinning exhibitions with the likes of Conor McGregor and Logan Paul.

Although a sad day for the sport of boxing, Pacquiao’s retirement is sure to have boxing nuts around the world looking back at his glory days. The good thing about that is there were plenty of them.

Pacquiao walks away from the sport as an unmatched legend with a story that truly is one of a kind. Until he draws his last breath, the legendary champion can walk anywhere on this planet with his head held high.

I guess you could call that a legacy.

Adam Haynes

Adam is a sports writer and tipster with a strong background in MMA, boxing, and combat sports.

When Adam isn't writing about those, as well as politics, rugby, and Gaelic Games, he can be found working on methods and strategies to beat the bookies.

For his troubles, Adam is a fan of Leinster Rugby, Glasgow Celtic, and trusting the process.

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