Manny Pacquiao, boxing star and a Philippine senator, announced his retirement from boxing on Wednesday. He is now planning to run for president in the 2022 Philippine elections.
Pacquiao, the only boxer who holds world titles in eight different divisions, announced his retirement on Facebook in a 14-minute long emotional video, thanking fans all around the world for the memories.
“I just heard the final bell. Boxing is over,” said Pacquiao, who is known for his fast footwork and even faster punches. “To the greatest fans and the greatest sport in the world, thank you! Thank you for all the wonderful memories. This is the hardest decision I’ve ever made, but I’m at peace with it. Chase your dreams, work hard, and watch what happens. Good bye boxing,” wrote Pacquiao, one of the top offensive fighters in the sport’s history.
“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.”
Pacquiao came from a poor family in the south of the Philippines and did odd jobs to survive. He stowed away on a boat to the capital Manila as a teenager, where he started competitive boxing.
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.
Pacquiao was among the staunchest allies of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, backing the leader’s bloody war on drugs and his bid to reintroduce the death penalty. But their political ties soured after Pacquiao criticised Duterte’s friendly relationship with China and corruption in the government. In July, he was ousted as president of the country’s ruling political party.
Pacquiao started his political career with failed congressional run in 2007. He won a seat at the lower house of congress in 2010, representing the southern Sarangani province. The two-term congressman was elected for a six-year term in the upper chamber in 2016.
With Reuters input