By Ivan Stewart Saldajeno
Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao (Photo from Pacquiao’s Facebook page)
MANILA (Philippines News Agency) – Manny Pacquiao, the only eight-division champion in boxing history, has officially called it a career in boxing after announcing his retirement from the sport on Wednesday.
In a 14-minute video, the 42-year-old Pacquiao said “goodbye boxing,” signaling an end to his illustrious career that lasted for 26 years.
“It is difficult for me to accept that my time as a boxer is over. Today, I am announcing my retirement,” Pacquiao said.
Pacquiao last fought in the ring last month in a losing effort to younger Yordenis Ugas for the WBA welterweight super title.
Boxing for the first time in two years, Pacquiao, while still displaying brilliance, looked to be outside his peak shape as Ugas put on a show to successfully defend the belt he actually got after the WBA stripped the former of it due to inactivity, further triggering talks that the match was Pacquiao’s final act.
Pacquiao himself confirmed it.
“I never thought this day would come. As I hang up my boxing gloves, I would like to thank the whole world, especially the Filipino people, for supporting Manny Pacquiao. Goodbye boxing,” his farewell address continued. “I just heard the final bell. Tapos na ang boxing (The boxing match is over).”
The announcement also confirmed what the concurrent senator told singer-actress Toni Gonzaga in her vlog that he is indeed retiring ahead of his bid for the Philippine presidency next year.
His camp has actually scheduled a press conference regarding his boxing retirement, but the said event has yet to start as of posting.
Pacquiao is retiring with an impressive record of 62 wins, 39 by knockout, eight losses, and two draws and the historic distinction of being the first and so far the only boxer who has won at least one world title in eight different divisions from flyweight to junior middleweight. (PNA)