Boxing Legend Manny Pacquiao is officially hanging up his gloves.
The eight-division world champion and senator from the Philippines announced his retirement from the ring on Wednesday.
“As I hang up my boxing gloves, I would like to thank everyone, especially the Filipino people for supporting Manny Pacquiao. Goodbye to boxing,” the 42-year-old said in a 14-minute video posted on his Facebook page. “It is difficult for me to accept that my time as a boxer is over. Today I announce my retirement.”
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.
His retirement from the box followed a disappointing loss to Yordenis Ugas in Paradise, Nevada on August 21. The young Cuban boxer, who defected to the United States in 2010, defeated Pacquiao by unanimous decision, retaining his WBA welterweight title. It was Pacquiao’s first fight in more than two years.
“Thank you for changing my life, when my family was desperate, you gave us hope, you gave me the opportunity to fight my way out of poverty,” Pacquiao said in the video. “Thanks to you, I was able to inspire people around the world. Thanks to you, I have been given the courage to change more lives. I will never forget what I have done and achieved in my life that I cannot imagine. I just heard the final bell. Boxing’s over. “
Pacquaio had hinted at retirement recently. It is also expected because he is setting his sights on a larger political battlefield. Earlier this month, he accepted the nomination of his political party and declared that he will run for the presidency of the Philippines in the May 2022 elections.
He has accused the government of President Rodrigo Duterte, his formal ally, of worsening corruption in the Philippines. He promised to fight poverty and warned corrupt politicians that they will soon end up in jail.
Pacquiao’s life story and legendary career from poverty to riches (he is the only fighter in history to win titles in eight different weight classes) has brought honor to his Southeast Asian nation, where he is known by his nicknames. Pacman, People’s Champ and Puño Nacional.
He left his impoverished home in the southern Philippines as a teenager and stowed away on a ship bound for Manila. He made his professional boxing debut as a junior flyweight in 1995, at the age of 16, fighting his way out of extreme poverty to become one of the highest paid athletes in the world.