Manny Pacquiao Retires From Boxing to Focus on Presidential Candidacy
The 12-time world-title holder and not-uncontroversial Filipino politician puts down his gloves for good.
After suffering the eighth loss of his professional boxing career in August, 12-time world-title holder Manny Pacquiao is focusing exclusively on a potentially monumental political win. The 42-year-old sparring legend and occasional ideological lightning rod has long juggled athletic pursuits with participation in governance. He was elected to a seat in the Philippine Senate in May 2016, after previously serving in his home nation's House of Representatives.
Less than a month after falling by unanimous decision to in-ring opponent Yordenis Ugas, Pacquiao declared his candidacy for the Philippine presidency in next year's election, where he hopes to unseat reigning strongman Rodrigo Duterte. On Tuesday night, Pacquiao cemented his commitment to the highest Philippine office by announcing his retirement from boxing via — where else? — social media.
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. https://t.co/Bde4wO82sA— Manny Pacquiao (@MannyPacquiao) September 29, 2021
"To the greatest fans and the greatest sport in the world, thank you!" he tweeted, along with an embedded, nearly 15-minute-long video sending himself off from one path to the next. "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 [sic] boxing."
Pacquiao fought to a 62-8-2 record over more than a quarter century of sanctioned fighting. He also earned millions in endorsements with big brands including Nestle and Nike. However, Nike ended its partnership with Pacquiao in 2016 when, while campaigning for Senate, the then-Sarangani Representative said in a TV interview that intimate same-sex couples "are worse than animals." Pressed for an apology, Pacquiao released a statement reading, "I'm sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals. Please forgive me for those I've hurt. I still stand on my belief that I'm against same-sex marriage because of what the Bible says, but I'm not condemning LGBT. I love you all with the love of the Lord. God Bless you all and I'm praying for you."
The 2022 Philippine presidential election will take place next May.