Manny Pacquiao, moved, said he was retiring from boxing to focus on his 2022 presidential bid.
Boxing star Manny Pacquiao, who plans to run for the Philippines presidential election in the 2022 election, has said he is retiring from boxing to focus on the biggest fight of his political career.
Pacquiao, a Filipino senator who divides his time between politics and fighting, made the announcement in a 14-minute video posted Wednesday on his official Facebook page.
“I just heard the final bell. Boxing is over, ”said an emotional Pacquiao, the only man to hold world titles in eight different divisions.
“I never thought that this day would come when I hang up my boxing gloves,” he said thanking his fans around the world.
Known for his fast footwork and lightning punches, Pacquiao was widely regarded as one of the best offensive fighters in the history of the sport.
Veteran promoter Bob Arum in 2010 said he was unmatched and rated him better than Muhammad Ali. “His left and right hands hit with equal power and that’s what destroys his opponents,” Arum told Reuters news agency.
In August, the 42-year-old lost a WBA welterweight world title match to Cuban Yordenis Ugas.
Growing up in the southern Philippines, Pacquiao’s family lived in extreme poverty, prompting him to do odd jobs to survive. As a teenager, he boarded a boat for the capital Manila, where he started competitive boxing.
Pacquiao was one of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s staunch allies, supporting the leader’s bloody war on drugs and his attempt to reintroduce the death penalty.
But their political ties deteriorated after Pacquiao criticized Duterte’s friendly relations with China and corruption in the government. In July, he was removed from his post as chairman of the ruling political party in the country.
Pacquiao began his political career with a failure in Congress in 2007. He won a seat in the lower house of Congress in 2010, representing the southern province of Sarangani.
The two-term congressman was elected to a six-year term in the upper house in 2016.