Boxing great Manny Pacquiao retires to vie for Philippines presidency

Boxing great Manny Pacquiao retires to vie for Philippines presidency
Aug 21, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada; Manny Pacquiao (left) fights Yordenis Ugas in a world welterweight championship bout at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

"As I hang up my boxing gloves, I would like to thank the whole world especially the Filipino people for supporting Manny Pacquiao," he said, fighting back tears.

World boxing icon Manny Pacquiao announced his retirement from what he called the "greatest sport in the world" on Wednesday to focus on a run for the Philippines presidency, the biggest fight of his career.

In a 14-minute video posted on Facebook and Twitter, "Pacman", as he is known in the sport, thanked fans worldwide before closing the curtain on a 26-year boxing career that earned him world titles in eight different divisions, which to this day remains unmatched.

"I just heard the final bell. Boxing is over," said the 42-year-old Pacquiao, now a Philippines senator, drawing a flood of reactions from fans ranging from disbelief to gratitude.

Pacquiao, whose fast footwork and blistering speed of punches made him one of the top offensive fighters in the sport's history, said he was at peace with his decision, adding it was the turn of other Filipino boxers to shine.

"As I hang up my boxing gloves, I would like to thank the whole world especially the Filipino people for supporting Manny Pacquiao," he said, fighting back tears.

He retires with a record of 62 wins (39 knockouts), 8 losses and 2 draws