At the age of 42, after a legendary professional boxing career spanning nearly 27 years and with an upcoming presidential campaign in his home country of the Philippines, Manny Pacquiao is calling it quits.
Pacquiao ends his professional career with a record of 62-8-2 (39 knockouts), having won 12 major world titles in eight different weight divisions, the only fighter ever to do so.
He announced his decision to retire from the sport Wednesday in a lengthy video in Filipino and in English on his Instagram account. In it, he mentions his passion for boxing, his love for the Philippines and his gratefulness to those who helped him along the way.
“It is difficult for me to accept that my time as a boxer is over,” Pacquiao said. “Today, I am announcing my retirement. I never thought that 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.”
He also made sure to thank his Father in Heaven.
“God is good all the time. That’s why I give all glory to God, who made it happen,” he said. “I always believe that, in God, all things are possible. Without Him, I am nothing. He is the one who gives me the ability and strength to accomplish all those things.
“The Lord gives me overflowing blessings. I could never thank Him enough for bestowing upon me my beautiful wife and best friend, Jinkee, and our five wonderful children.”
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Pacquiao has frequently talked about his faith in God and His Word throughout his boxing career, which began in January 1995 at the age of 16.
In 2014, Pacquiao told The Guardian about how he came to faith in Christ.
“I’m happy because I found the right way, salvation, born again,” he said. “We are required to be born again, all of us. Christ said, ‘Unless we are born again we cannot enter the Kingdom of God’ (reference to John 3:3). So it’s very important to me.
“Jesus Christ said, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me’ (reference to John 14:6). There is no other way. The only way is through Jesus.”
Pacquiao said at an event in 2020, after he helped author a law declaring the last Monday of January to be National Bible Day in the Philippines, “The Bible is the only book we need to discover the foundational truth of how to know and walk with God.”
He added, “Read the Bible because it will lead you to all truth. The Bible is the manual to life.”
In a June 2020 interview with CBN News, Pacquiao spoke about his commitment to read the Bible and to pray.
“Read the Bible continually, pray continually … until when? As long as you are still alive on this earth. You are forming your destiny which way you go, either eternal suffering or eternal happiness,” he said.
I have come to this point in my career by the grace of God. It is He who gave me the strength to fight. I can look back and honestly say that I gave my best. My family and you, the fans, have been with me all the way. I will not focus on the defeat,but instead count my blessings! pic.twitter.com/9d9Qivpe5I
— Manny Pacquiao (@MannyPacquiao) August 26, 2021
Pacquiao may be stepping out of the ring, but he isn’t stepping out of the spotlight. Just a couple of weeks ago, he accepted the nomination of the PDP-Laban party to run for president of the Philippines in the May 2022 election. He is currently a Philippine senator and president of the PDP-Laban party.
He vowed that, if he wins, he plans to prioritize the battle against poverty and corruption in the Philippines.
“I am a fighter and I will always be a fighter inside and outside the ring,” Pacquiao said during his acceptance speech, according to USA Today. “In my whole life, I have not backed out of a fight.”
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