Manny Pacquiao: from poverty to boxing royalty

Filipino, 42, announced his retirement from the sport on Wednesday to concentrate on his Philippine presidential bid

Manny Pacquiao, one of the most decorated boxers of all time, announced his retirement from the sport on Wednesday to concentrate on a run for the presidency in the Philippines.

A world champion in an unprecedented eight divisions, Pacquiao, 42, won title belts from flyweight all the way up to light middleweight.

Below are some facts about Pacquiao.

Embedded with team Pacquiao - in pictures

Humble beginnings

- Pacquiao was born in 1978 in Kibawe in the southern province of Bukidnon. He is one of six siblings raised in a single-parent family and lived in a shack. He quit school at 10. His full name is Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao and he is known in boxing by the nickname 'Pac-Man' and in the Philippines, "Pambansang Kamao" (The National Fist).

- He was introduced by a relative to boxing in General Santos City age 12 and took part in street fights where the winner received 100 pesos ($1.97) and the loser, 50 pesos. "I heard that when you fight, even when you lose, you have money," he said in 2015.

- When he was 14, he was a stowaway on a boat bound for the capital Manila, where lived on the streets and did construction jobs to earn money to send home.

- His talent as a boxer was recognised early on and age 16 he became a junior professional. Filipinos became familiar with him from bouts carried live on television.

Boxing career

- He won his first major title in 1998, age 19, with his World Boxing Council (WBC) flyweight title knockout of Thai Chatchai Sasakul, in Thailand, a title he retained five months later against Mexican Gabriel Mira.

- On his 21st birthday, Pacquiao added the vacant WBC international super bantamweight title, which he defended five times in the 17 months that followed.

- In June 2001, he added the International Boxing Federation (IBF) super bantamweight title on his United States debut at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Paradise, Nevada, the venue for most of his fights in the following two decades. In the past 20 years, Pacquiao has fought in the Philippines only four times.

- As the only fighter to win world titles in eight different weight divisions, many consider Pacquiao the best pound-for-pound boxer of all time.

Politics and money

- Pacquiao had a net worth of $63 million at the end of 2020, according to his statement of assets and liabilities. His 2015 encounter with Floyd Mayweather remains the best-selling pay-per-view (PPV) fight in boxing history, grossing $410 million, and his 24 PPV bouts have generated 20 million buys.

- Pacquiao has juggled his boxing career with one in domestic politics, albeit with frequent absences while preparing for fights. In 2010, he won a seat in Congress at the second attempt and was reelected three years later, despite having one of the worst attendance records in the house.

- In 2016, Pacquiao won a seat in the higher profile Senate, where he co-authored a bill to repeal the death penalty and steadfastly backed President Rodrigo Duterte's bloody war on drugs, a campaign condemned by the international community for killing thousands of mostly urban poor Filipinos.

- He landed himself in hot water during campaigning for the senate, when he said gay couples were "worse than animals", resulting in sports giant Nike terminating its contract with him, despite Pacquiao apologising for the remark, which saw his opinion poll rating drop.

- Pacquiao this month announced he would run for the presidency.

Manny Pacquiao beyond the ropes series 2019

Part 1: A man who gives hope to the Philippines

Part 2: Turning 40 and no signs of slowing

Part 3: The final chapter - Broner, Mayweather and the fear of going on for too long

Updated: September 29th 2021, 5:54 AM
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