By Adrian Stewart Co
“I just heard the final bell. Tapos na ang boxing. Maraming, maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat.”
Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao has formalized his boxing retirement yesterday, capping off a 26-year boxing career that was highlighted by world championships in eight different divisions.
In a 14-minute, 20-second video posted on his social media accounts on Wednesday noon, the 42-year-old Pacquiao expressed his gratefulness to the people who supported him.
“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,” Pacquiao said.
It was definitely a storied boxing career for Pacquiao, which started when he scored a four-round unanimous decision win over Edmund Enting Ignacio in January 1995 at Sablayan. He had his big break when he stunned the late Lehlo Ledwaba in 2001.
Pacquiao went on to dominate his succeeding bouts and later capture world championship at flyweight, super bantamweight, super featherweight, lightweight, super lightweight, welterweight, super welterweight, and bantamweight.
Along the way, Pacquiao has defeated fellow boxing legends such as Oscar dela Hoya, Marco Antonio Barrera, Eric Morales, Juan Manuel Marquez, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley, Antonio Margarito, Oscar Larios, Ricky Hatton, Timothy Bradley, Adrien Broner, and Keith Thurman.
Pacquiao also suffered a handful of defeats to American fighter Floyd Mayweather Jr., Jeff Horn and Cuban Yordenis Ugas during his last fight last August.
“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.”
The Filipino boxing legend is leaving the sport after close to three decades with a career record of 62 wins (39 by way of stoppages), eight losses and two draws./ASC, WDJ