Manny Pacquiao, the world’s only eight-division boxing champion, officially announced his retirement at the age of 42 on Wednesday morning, marking an end of an era in the sweet science.
Pacquiao made the announcement on his social media pages in a 14-minute, 20-second video. He expressed his gratitude to the people who have supported him along his 26-year journey in the sport.
“I just heard the final bell. Tapos na ang boxing. Maraming, maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat,” he said.
In his legendary career, Pacquiao amassed a 62-8-2 (39 KO) record.
He started his career back in 1995 as a skinny 16-year-old who competed in the 106-pound division.
In 2001, he had his mainstream breakthrough, defeating heralded Lehlo Ledwaba via sixth-round TKO for the IBF junior featherweight title as a late replacement.
Pacquiao would figure in legendary bouts against the likes of Mexico’s three-headed beast – namely Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, and Juan Manuel Marquez.
In 2008, he became a bonafide global icon after defeating Oscar Dela Hoya. Then he followed it up with wins over Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto.
“Boxing has always been my passion. I was given the opportunity to represent the Philippines, bringing fame and honor to my country every time I enter the ring. I am grateful to all the opportunities to inspire the fans,” he said.
Pacquiao would soon figure in a long standoff with fellow pound-for-pound great Floyd Mayweather.
The bout eventually came to fruition in 2015 when the two squared off in the ‘Fight of the Century.’
Though losing to Mayweather, Pacquiao would continue fighting and creating history, eventually becoming the oldest world welterweight champion after defeating Keith Thurman at the age of 40.
“To the boxing fans all over the world, thank you very much,” he expressed. “Thank you for always praying for me and watching my fight through the years. Who would have ever thought that Manny Pacquiao would win 12 major world titles in eight different divisions? Even me, I’m amazed at what I have done.
“Maraming salamat po.”
Now, Pacquiao faces a new battle as he runs as the president of the country come the 2022 elections.