After losing his recent bid for a WBA welterweight world title against Cuban Yordenis Ugas last August, boxer Manny Pacquiao has decided to formally announce his retirement from the sport on social media in the afternoon of September 29, Wednesday. The 42-year-old athlete turned politician made sure to thank numerous individuals and families who have helped him in his three-decade journey with the sport including his former manager Rod Nazario and longtime American trainer Freddie Roach.
He wrote, “Boxing has always been my passion. I was given the opportunity of representing the Philippines. bringing fame and honor to my country every time I enter the ring. I am grateful for all my accomplishments and the opportunity to inspire the fans. Sa pagkakataong ito, hayaan niyo akong pasalamatan at bigyang pugay ang mga taong nagsakripisyo upang tulungan akong ipakasatuparan ang aking mga pangarap. Maraming salamat po.
“I will always remember my relative Sardo Mejia na siyang nagturo sa akin about boxing. Siya po ang nagmulat ng aking kaisipan about boxing. After that, nangarap ako na magkaroon ng pagkakataon na makalaban sa Olympics. Ngunit hindi ako nakuha na maging bahagi ng Philippine team. Na-reject ako. Sinasabing wala akong pag-asa sa boxing. Ngunit hindi ako nawalan ng pag-asa. Hindi ako na-discourage. Mabuti na lang tinanggap ako ng Davao Del Sur province upang maging bahagi ng kanilang boxing team. Sila ay naniniwala sa akin.
“Kinakailangan kong iwanan ang aking pamilya sa Gensan upang matupad ang aking mga pangarap. Napakabuti po ng ating Panginoon na dinala Niya ako sa mga pamilyang nagkupkop sa akin at tumulong. Taos-puso po akong nagpapasalamat sa lahat ng mga taong naging bahagi ng aking tagumpay para marating ko ang aking kinalalagyan ngayon. Sila po ang aking naging instrumento sa aking tagumpay.
“Rod Nazario brought me to the United States 20 years ago and arranged [for] me [an] introduction to Freddie Roach at Wildcard boxing gym. Freddie Roach was not only my trainor, but also my family, a brother, and a friend. I recognized the important contribution of those who became my trainors. Daghang salamat sa inyong tanan. Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat.
“When you speak of friends, there is no one closer to me than Buboy Fernandez whom I have known for almost my whole life. He is more than a coach to me. I want to acknowledge the loyalty and sacrifices of my training team. To everyone in Team Pacquiao, thank you for sticking with me through the years.”
In the same post, Manny also made sure to thank members of the press as well as his millions of fans all over the world and lastly gave thanks to his family who has been by his side the whole way.
He wrote, “To all the media who have taken the time to tell my story and for supporting boxing, please accept my deepest appreciation. I truly value your hard work. Thank you po.
“To the boxing fans all over the world, thank you very much. I deeply appreciate your love and support. Thank you for always praying for me in watching my fight through the years. Who would have thought that Manny Pacquiao would end up with 12 major world titles in eight different weight divisions?
“Even me, I am amazed of what I have done. Holding the record of being the only boxer who holds titles in four different decades and become the oldest fighter to win a world welterweight title. Amazing accomplishment that I never thought I would accomplish. But know that God is good all the time. That’s why I give all glory to God who made it happen. 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 these things. The Lord gave 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. To Mommy D, my dad, and my entire family, thank you for your unconditional love. You’re one of my inspirations to keep focus and stand firm in the faith.”
Before ending his 14-minute video, the boxing icon known as “Ang Pabansang Kamao” made sure to put the spotlight on up and coming boxers from the country.
“Napakadami nating potential boxers na mas bata at puno ng pag-asa na makapagdala ng karangalan sa ating bansa. Sila naman po ang ating tulungan. It is difficult [for] me to accept that my time as a boxer is over.
“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. Thank you for changing my life when my family was desperate. You gave us hope. 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 courage to change more lives. I will never forget what I have done and accomplished in my life that I can’t imagine. I just heard the final bell. Tapos na ang boxing. Maraming maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat. God is good all the time,” he said.
Manny first joined politics after a failed congressional run in 2007. He successfully ran for a seat in the House of Representatives in the southern Sarangani province in 2010 before being elected Senator in 2016. Last September 19, Manny announced his intention to run for presidency in the 2022 elections.