At the age of 39, Manny is a 23-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).