At the age of 38, Manny is a 22-year pro – he made his debut at 16. One of boxing’s biggest stars, he has been fighting at the elite level of competition and given some of the most sensational performances in the ring in recent years.
He is boxing’s only eight-division world champion. He has won world titles at 112, 122, 130, 135, 147, and 154 pounds, and lineal titles at 112, 126, 130, and 140 pounds. He is boxing’s only four-division lineal world champion, as well.
22 of his last 23 fights over the last nine years have been against world champions, and the one exception was an interim world champion.
Manny is not only recognized as one of the best fighters in the ring today, but one of the sport’s all-time greats, as well.
After his win against Timothy Bradley Jr. in April, 2016, Manny announced his retirement from boxing so he could concentrate on his political career.
On May 19 he was elected to a six-year term as one of 24 Senators in the Philippine Senate.
Manny’s retirement, however, did not last long. He was able to train for the Jessie Vargas fight in November, 2016, while fulfilling his duties as senator, and he fought Vargas while the Senate was in recess.
In his last fight on July 2 in Brisbane, Australia, he lost a controversial 12-round unanimous decision against 2012 Australian Olympian and hometown favorite Jeff Horn.
ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael reported [excerpts]: Manny Pacquiao was the heavy favorite to retain his welterweight world title against Jeff Horn, and Pacquiao sure looked like he had done just that when the final bell rang to end the action-packed brawl.
But then the judges’ scorecards were read, and Pacquiao was the victim of a hugely controversial decision, as Horn was awarded a stunning unanimous decision before 51,052 at Suncorp Stadium….
Judge Waleska Roldan had it 117-111, and judges Chris Flores and Ramon Cerdan both had it 115-113 for Horn.
It did not appear to be all that close, even though the action far exceeded the modest expectations going into the fight.
Horn tried to rough Pacquiao up and landed a couple of shots in the first round, but Horn also had his mouthpiece dislodged. Still, Horn was extremely aggressive and busy. But Pacquiao came back strong in the second round, landing two very solid straight left hands, but the chin of Horn held up.
Horn was trying very hard to land big punches and spent the fight bulling forward and trying to smother the faster Pacquiao.
In the sixth round, an accidental head-butt opened a cut on Pacquiao’s hairline, and blood streamed down his body. Then Horn rocked Pacquiao with a right hand in a stunning scene. Pacquiao quickly recovered, but it had to give Horn confidence.
There was another accidental head-butt in the seventh round, and it cut Pacquiao again, this time near his left eye, and more blood streamed down his face. Horn went right at Pacquiao after the ringside doctor took a look at the cut, and the crowd got very excited.
But Pacquiao had a huge ninth round. He turned up his aggression and battered Horn, landing numerous brutal shots, especially with his left hand. Horn took them all and refused to go down, but he was in rough shape at the end of the round.
Pacquiao continued to go after Horn in the 10th round. Horn looked spent but was somehow able to remain on his feet as he continued to show his enormous heart.
The 12th round was another intense one, as Pacquiao tried to close the show. But Horn also fought hard until the final bell, thinking he might be able to land a big shot. When the fight ended, the crowd erupted. Pacquiao pumped his fists, and Horn’s cornermen raised him up.
Horn, who is a huge Pacquiao fan and said he drew inspiration from him earlier in his career, was still seemingly in awe that he got the decision. He had the belt over his shoulder and as he walked away from ringside, he first went to Pacquiao and said, “Manny, you’re an absolute legend. Thank you.” [End Rafael item]
Manny’s accomplishments in the ring have established him as a certain future first-ballot Hall of Famer, but he has reached another level that can be claimed by very few – he has transcended the sport.
His “rags to riches” story is spectacular and literal – a 14 year-old kid living on the streets of Manila goes on to become one of the world’s most recognizable and revered athletes.
He is the national hero of his native Philippines – the entire country of over 96 million people comes to a virtual standstill to watch whenever he fights. He has been the subject of books and movies, and is featured in video games and a postage stamp in the Philippines.
He has also been a professional basketball player and coach, recording artist, and an action-movie star in his home country. He carried the Philippine flag at the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
In 2010, he was elected as a Congressman in the Sarangani province in the Philippines, and served two three-year terms.
Manny was voted “Fighter of the Year” in 2006, 2008, and 2009, and “Fighter of the Decade 2000-2009” by the Boxing Writers Association of America.
BWAA president Jack Hirsch wrote on their webpage [excerpts]: If there were any doubt that Manny Pacquiao is the biggest star of his sport, it was put to rest by members of the Boxing Writers Association of America. By an overwhelming margin, Pacquiao took home not only the BWAA’s newly named “Sugar Ray Robinson Fighter of the Year” award, but went one better by also winning “Fighter of the Decade” honors. For Pacquiao, it was his third BWAA “Fighter of the Year” award, tying him with Muhammad Ali and Evander Holyfield for the most in the history of the organization. [End BWAA item]
The Associated Press reported [excerpts]: Manny Pacquiao was honored as the fighter of the decade by the Boxing Writer’s Association of America on Monday….
The reigning pound-for-pound king was chosen fighter of the decade over Bernard Hopkins, Joe Calzaghe, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Shane Mosley, Juan Manuel Marquez and Marco Antonio Barrera. [End AP item]
Manny has fought 23 world champions: Jeff Horn (L12), Jessie Vargas (W12), Timothy Bradley Jr. three times (L12, W12, W12), Floyd Mayweather Jr. (L12), Chris Algieri (W12), Brandon Rios (W12), Juan Manuel Marquez four times (D12, W12, W12, KOby6), Shane Mosley (W12), Antonio Margarito (W12), Joshua Clottey (W12), Miguel Cotto (TKO12), Ricky Hatton (KO2), Oscar de la Hoya (TKO8), David Diaz (TKO9), Marco Antonio Barrera two times (W12, TKO11), Jorge Solis (KO8), Erik Morales three times (KO3, TKO10, L12), Oscar Larios (W12), Jorge Julio (KO2), Agapito Sanchez (TD6), Lehlohonolo Ledwaba (TKO6), Medgoen Lukchaopormasak (KOby3), and Chatchai Sasakul (KO8).
AMATEUR, PERSONAL BACKGROUND: From wikipedia.com [excerpts]: Pacquiao was born in Kibawe, Bukidnon, Philippines. He is the son of Rosalio Pacquiao and Dionisia Dapidran-Pacquiao. He is the fourth among six siblings: Liza Silvestre-Onding and Domingo Silvestre (from first husband of his mother) and Isidra Pacquiao-Paglinawan, Alberto “Bobby” Pacquiao and Rogelio “Roel” Pacquiao.
Pacquiao completed his elementary education at Saavedra Saway Elementary School in General Santos City, but dropped out of high school due to extreme poverty. He left his home at age 14 because his mother, who had six children, was not making enough money to support her family.
At the age of 14, Pacquiao moved to Manila and lived, for a time, on the streets. He started boxing and made the Philippine national amateur boxing team where his room and board were paid for by the government. Pacquiao reportedly had an amateur record of 64 fights (60-4).
In 1995, the death of a young aspiring boxer and close friend Eugene Barutag spurred the young Pacquiao to pursue a professional boxing career. Pacquiao started his professional boxing career when he was just 16 years of age, stood at 4’11”, and weighed 98 pounds (7 pounds under the minimumweight division). He admitted before American media that he put weights in his pockets to make the 105-pound weight limit.
In February 2007 he took, and passed, a high school equivalency exam making him eligible for college education. He was awarded with a high school diploma by the Department of Education. Pacquiao enrolled for a college degree in business management at Notre Dame of Dadiangas University (NDDU) in his hometown in General Santos City.
On February 18, 2009, Pacquiao was conferred the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humanities (Honoris Causa) by Southwestern University (SWU) at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Lahug, Cebu City in recognition of his boxing achievements and humanitarian work.
In preparation for his career as a lawmaker in the House of Representatives, Pacquiao enrolled in the Certificate Course in Development, Legislation, and Governance at the Development Academy of the Philippines – Graduate School of Public and Development Management (DAP-GSPDM).
Pacquiao is married to Maria Geraldine “Jinkee” Jamora, and they have five children: Emmanuel Jr. “Jimuel,” Michael, Princess, Queen Elizabeth “Queenie” and Israel.
A film based on Pacquiao’s life, Pacquiao: The Movie, was released on June 21, 2006, featuring Filipino actor Jericho Rosales as Manny Pacquiao and was directed by Joel Lamangan. Pacquiao is featured in the boxing video games Fight Night Round 2, Fight Night Round 3, Fight Night Round 4 and Fight Night Champion.
Pacquiao became the first Filipino athlete to appear on a postage stamp.
Pacquiao became the first Filipino Olympic non-participant to be Team Philippines’ flag-bearer during the August 8 opening ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympics at the Beijing National Stadium. Swimmer Miguel Molina, 2005 Southeast Asian Games’ Best Male Athlete, yielded the honor to Pacquiao, upon the request of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to the national sports officials on the Philippines at the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Pacquiao plays basketball as a cross-training to keep himself in shape. He is playing in the semi-professional basketball league, Liga Pilipinas, with the team he owns, the MP-Gensan Warriors. He made his debut in the Smart-Liga Pilipinas Conference II in January 16, 2009. He wears jersey number 17.
Pacquiao has been included by Time Magazine as one of the world’s most influential people for the year 2009, for his exploits in boxing and his influence among the Filipino people. Pacquiao was also included by Forbes Magazine in its annual Celebrity 100 list for the year 2009, joining Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie and fellow athletes Tiger Woods and Kobe Bryant. Forbes also listed Pacquiao as the World’s 6th Highest Paid Athlete, with a total of 40 Million Dollars ($40,000,000.00) from the second half of 2008 to the first half of 2009. Tied with him on the sixth spot was the NBA player LeBron James and golfer Phil Mickelson. Pacquiao was again included in Forbes’ list of Highest Paid Athletes from the second half of 2009 to the first half of 2010; he was ranked 8th with an income of $42 million. Pacquiao had also won the 2009 ESPY Awards for the Best Fighter category, beating fellow boxer Shane Mosley and Brazilian mixed martial arts fighters Lyoto Machida and Anderson Silva. [End wikipedia.com item]
From Time Magazine, Asia edition, Nov. 16, 2009, by Howard Chua-Eoan and Ishaan Tharoor [excerpts]: Pacquiao has a myth of origin equal to that of any Greek or Roman hero. Abandoned by his father and brought up by a tough-as-nails mother, the poor boy who loves to box is rejected by a local squad but then journeys many islands away, to the country’s metropolis, Manila, to make it big. Then he leaves the Philippines to make it even bigger, conquering the world again and again to bring back riches to share with his family and friends. Now, in his hometown of General Santos City on the island of Mindanao, he and his family own commercial buildings, a convenience store, cafés and a souvenir shop that sells everything from DVDs of his fights to T-shirts to bobblehead dolls. In Manila, his children attend one of the most exclusive and expensive private schools. He is generous to a fault, spending thousands of dollars a day feeding and entertaining guests. For his last fight, he distributed $800,000 in tickets to friends.
He left home at 14 because his mother Dionisia, who did odd jobs and factory work and hawked vegetables by roadsides, wasn’t really making enough to feed her six children. He had to go off and earn money elsewhere, doing anything to relieve the burden on his mother – even if she wanted him by her side. As it was, he was often absent from school because the family needed him to help sell snacks and trinkets on the potholed lanes where nearly naked children with matted hair still chase rusting bicycle wheels for fun. Pacquiao liked school, correcting and grading his classmates’ homework. He “never cheated during a quiz – he wouldn’t try to look sideways, this way or that,” says one of his schoolteachers from the Saavedra Saway Elementary School. A decent education, however, requires several years and a lot of money. The Pacquiaos had trouble accumulating even a little.
And so young Manny plotted his trip in secret. Dionisia Pacquiao is slender and slight, like her son, and has his easy smile. “Manny has a strong mind and a strong body,” she says. “Just like his mother. Except I am stronger.” But she was heartbroken when he left for Manila. Dionisia recalls receiving a letter from him “saying how sorry he was [for leaving home] … I was very, very sad. But after a while, I accepted his destiny.”
Pacquiao was not one to pick quarrels. But he did not shy away when friends got into free-for-alls: what he calls, with an almost pop-eyed relish, bukbukan – unrestrained fistfighting. He loved boxing. Dionisia recalls an 8-year-old Manny wrapping towels around his hands to mimic gloves. Rey Golingan, a General Santos City businessman, remembers the young Pacquiao attending the weekly bouts in the main plaza. “Manny was always there at the fights, waiting to be paired with someone,” says Golingan. But his consistency wasn’t matched by any obvious talent. “Honestly, I didn’t see any potential in Manny. He was just another kid who knew if he won a few fights he might get 100 pesos [less than $3],” says Golingan. “He was always very courageous and had natural speed and power. But he wasn’t a clever boxer … He was [always] flailing around.”
When he got to Manila, Pacquiao first worked as a laborer. His enthusiasm for boxing, however, had him returning to the ring, fighting in run-for-cover, barely legal matches pulled together in one of Manila’s cramped suburbs. He lingers over the names of boxers he knew who died after such fights, then moves on. The death of a friend reportedly spurred Pacquiao to turn professional. [End Time Magazine item]
STRENGTHS: A left-hander with a combination of exceptional speed and great punching power in both hands…has good skills and movement…physically strong, tough and determined…is always in top condition…is experienced against top opposition…
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: 68 fights…460 total rounds…198 world championship rounds…
AVERAGE LENGTH OF BOUTS: 6.7 rounds…
KNOCKOUT PERCENTAGE: of total fights – 55 %…of wins – 64 %…
DISTANCE FIGHTS: 12 rounds – 18 (13-4-1)…11 rounds – 1 (1-0)…10 rounds – 5 (5-0)…