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Sports

Pacquiao formalizes boxing retirement

Dino Maragay - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines – Manny Pacquiao, arguably the greatest Filipino sports figure of all time, officially announced his retirement from boxing on Wednesday.

The 42-year-old Pacquiao posted a 14-minute video titled “Good bye boxing” on his official Facebook account that details, among others, his boxing journey. He also thanked those who have been part his long career.

"It is difficult for me to accept that my time as a boxer is over. Today, I am announcing my retirement," said Pacquiao.

The incumbent senator will run for president in next year's national elections as standard-bearer of a faction of the ruling PDP-Laban Party.

Pacquiao has left an indelible mark on the sport that saw him rise from poverty and obscurity into a household name in the Philippines and eventually into a global icon. He will go down in boxing history as the only eight-division world champion, having won titles at flyweight (112 lbs), super bantamweight (122 lbs), featherweight (126 lbs), super featherweight (130 lbs), lightweight (135 lbs), light welterweight (140 lbs), welterweight (147 lbs) and light middleweight (154 lbs).

For years, the Filipino legend has sat atop the pound-for-pound rankings of numerous boxing media outfits, especially The Ring Magazine, considered the “Bible of Boxing.” He will be known, among other facets of his boxing career, for his rivalry with Mexican fellow legends Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales and Juan Manuel Marquez.

Pacquiao had one amazing stretch at the peak of his superstardom from 2008 to 2011, when he lopsidedly defeated a murderer’s row of opponents that included Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, Joshua Clottey, Antonio Margarito and Shane Mosley.

In 2015, the fiery southpaw figured in the richest and most-watched fight in boxing history when he took on Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a megabuck duel that smashed pay-per-view records. Although Pacquiao lost to the elusive and crafty Mayweather on points, he enjoyed a career-high nine-figure payday.

At the peak of his stardom, Pacquiao had ranked among the world’s top-paid athletes, with his income bolstered by several major endorsements, including one from sneaker giant Nike.

After defeating Timothy Bradley in 2016, he announced he is retiring from the sport to focus on his bid for a Senate seat, but couldn’t resist the lure of the ring and returned just months later to fight Jessie Vargas while already an incumbent senator.

The final stretch of Pacquiao’s career saw the icon heading to Brisbane, Australia in 2017 and controversially losing to the relatively unknown Jeff Horn, then bouncing back the following year in Kuala Lumpur by knocking out Lucas Matthysse — Pacquiao's first stoppage win in nearly a decade. 

He showed further rejuvenation with wins over younger opponents in Adrien Broner and Keith Thurman in the US before losing to last-minute opponent Yordenis Ugas in Cuba in his final fight just last month.

"I just heard the final bell. Tapos na ang boxing," Pacquiao added in his farewell video.

Meanwhile, in a Twitter post Wednesday, the boxer-turned-politician said retiring from the sport is "the hardest decision I’ve ever made".

Pacquiao, a first-ballot Hall of Famer once he becomes eligible for induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, has compiled a win-loss draw record of 62-8-2, with 39 knockouts.

BOXING MANNY PACQUIAO
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