Manny Pacquiao officially retires: ‘My time as a boxer is over’
MANILA, Philippines—After much speculation, Manny Pacquiao is officially hanging up his gloves.
Pacquiao confirmed his retirement from boxing on Wednesday in a 14-minute video statement on Facebook.
“It is difficult for me to accept that my time as a boxer is over. Today, I am announcing my retirement,” Pacquiao said.
“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. “Goodbye boxing, thank you for changing my life.”
To the greatest fans and the greatest sport in the world, thank you! Thank you for all the wonderful memories. This is the hardest decision I’ve ever made, but I’m at peace with it. Chase your dreams, work hard, and watch what happens. Good bye boxing. https://t.co/Bde4wO82sA
— Manny Pacquiao (@MannyPacquiao) September 29, 2021
In what turned out to be his swan song, Pacquiao was upset by Cuban Yordenis Ugas in August in Las Vegas.
Despite the stunning loss, Pacquiao’s legacy as one of the greatest to ever do it has long been cemented.
Pacquiao is boxing’s only eight-division champion. He won his first world title as a flyweight in 1998, three years after making his debut as a scrawny 16-year-old.
In 2001, Pacquiao made his United States debut as a replacement fighter and scored a scintillating win over the favored Lehlo Ledwaba to claim the IBF super bantamweight crown.
That bout, his first of many under hall of fame trainer Freddie Roach, paved way for his stardom.
His best years in the ring arguably came from 2008 to 2011 when he conquered one weight class after another which culminated with a 12-round demolition of Antonio Margarito for the WBC light middleweight belt.
During that spectacular stretch, Pacquiao dominated the likes of Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto and Oscar De La Hoya. In April 2016, after beating Tim Bradley in their third fight, Pacquiao announced his retirement but only to return in the ring seven months later and outclass Jessie Vargas.
“I will never forget what I’ve done and accomplished in my life and I can’t imagine I just heard the final bell. Tapos na ang boxing (boxing is over),” the senator and presidential aspirant said.
Walking away from boxing means Pacquiao will get to solely focus on his political career as he aims for the highest post in the 2022 elections.
Pacquiao, who was elected senator in 2016, threw his hat into the presidential race 10 days ago as the standard-bearer for the PDP-Laban faction.
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