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    Pacquiao formally retires from boxing after distinguished career

    Sep 29, 2021

    THE curtains finally fell on the career of one of boxing’s all-time greatest fighters.

    Manny Pacquiao officially announced he’s retiring from the ring after a distinguished career that saw him become one of the most decorated and recognizable fighters in the rich history of prizefighting.

    The 42-year-old ring legend and Philippine senator made the announcement on a pre-taped message Wednesday, exactly 10 days after declaring he’ll be running for the presidency in 2022.

    "It is difficult for me to accept that my time as a boxer is over today. I am announcing my retirement," said Pacquiao, wearing a lavander polo, in addressing boxing fans and the Filipino people in general during his nine-minute speech entitled 'Good by boxing.'

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      "I never thought that this day would come," he added. "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.'

      Pacquiao said boxing changed his life and the one that gave his family hope during the time when they were desperate.

      "You gave me the chance to fight our way out of poverty. Because of you, I was able to inspire people all over the world. Because of you, I have been given the chance to change more lives," said the teary-eyed Pacquiao.

      "I just heard the final bell... Tapos na ang boxing."

      Pacquiao didn't forget the people instrumental in getting him to boxing and make a name for himself, starting with his relative Zardo Mejia, who he credited as the first one to teach him how to box.

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      The boxing legend was also grateful for the many families who helped him along the way in his boxing journey, but made special mention to the late promoter Polding Correa and his late manager Rod Nazario.

      Correa, according to Pacquiao was the one responsible for bringing him to Manila, while Nazario accompanied him to his first US trip 2001 in a bid to resuscitate his career after losing his WBC flyweight title two years earlier.

      That US sojourn brought Pacquiao at the doorsteps of the Wild Card gym in Hollywood, and paved the way for his successful partnership with Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach.

      The Pacman described the 61-year-old Roach as 'not only my trainer, but also my family - a brother and a friend.'

      Along with Roach, Pacquiao also acknowledged several trainers who handled him in his time with boxing including childhood friend Buboy Fernandez, Nonoy Neri, Roger 'Haplas' Fernandez, strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune, the late Mang Leonardo 'Ambo' Pablo, Rick Staheli, Ben Delgado, Bebe Tinag-sa, Mario Sumalinog, Alex Ariza, the Penalosa brothers, and former world title challenger Emil Romano, husband of sports editor Virgi Tia-Romano.

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      Special mentioned too, was former promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank for 'negotiating and staging most of my biggest fights and successdul events in my career.'

      Pacquiao likewise thanked Michael Koncz, who has been with him since 2005, as well as people who helped him towards the end of his career, the likes of Atty. Tom Falgui, Sean Gibbons, Al Haymon, Tom Brown, Fred Sternberg, Atty. Jeng Gacal, and Atty. Bong Gacal.

      "They gave me the opportunity to stay relevant and finish my boxing careetr with high profile championship fight," he added.

      Not to be forgotten are members of the media, but most importantly, the boxing fans all over the world, to who Pacquiao said, "I deeply appreciate your love and support. Thank you for always praying for me and watching my fights throughout the years."

      He reserved his final appreciation thanking God for bestowing him a beautiful wife and best friend in Jinkee, along with their five wonderful children - Michael, Jimuel, Queen Elizabeth, Mary Divine Grace, and Israel. He also acknowledged his parents, Dionisia and Rosalio, together with the entire family for their unconditional love.

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      Since turning pro in 1995 as a skinny, 17-year-old fighter, Pacquiao indeed, came a long way to become the greatest Filipino fighter ever and one of boxing's all-time greats.

      During the course of his career, he won twelve major world titles, became the only fighter to win titles in eight different weight divisions, and was the only boxer to hold world titles in four different decades.

      He retired with a record of 62-8-2 with 39 KOs.

      "Glory to God who made it all 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."

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