Filipino boxing great Manny Pacquiao announces retirement – ‘it is difficult for me to accept’
- Boxing ‘gave me the chance to fight my way out of poverty’, says 42-year-old former eight-division world champion
- Pacman posts video saying he ‘just heard the final bell’ as he turns attention to Philippines presidential run
Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao is officially hanging up his gloves. The eight-division world champion and Philippines senator announced his retirement from the ring on Wednesday.
“As I hang up my boxing gloves, I would like to thank the whole world, especially the Filipino people for supporting Manny Pacquiao. Goodbye boxing,” the 42-year old said in a 14-minute video posted on his Facebook page.
“It is difficult for me to accept that my time as a boxer is over. Today I am announcing my retirement.”
Pacquiao finished his 26-year, 72-fight career with 62 wins, eight losses and two draws. Of those 62 wins, 39 were by knockout and 23 by decision. He won 12 world titles and is the only fighter in history to win titles in eight different weight classes.
Philippine boxing legend Manny Pacquiao retires after announcing presidential bid
“Thank you for changing my life, when my family was desperate, you gave us hope, you gave me the chance to fight my way out of poverty,” Pacquiao said in the video.
“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 that I can’t imagine. I just heard the final bell. The boxing is over. ”
He has accused the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, his former ally, of making corruption worse in the Philippines. He promised to fight poverty and warned corrupt politicians they will soon end in jail.
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Pacquiao’s rags-to-riches life story and legendary career brought honour to his Southeast Asian nation, where he is known by his monikers Pacman, People’s Champ and National Fist.
He left his impoverished home in the southern Philippines as a teenager and stowed away on a ship bound for Manila. He made his professional boxing debut as a junior flyweight in 1995, at the age of 16, fighting his way out of abject poverty to become one of the world’s highest-paid athletes.