By: Hans Themistode
For nearly three decades, Manny Pacquiao calmly entered the ring, and more times than not, he gave fans their money’s worth.
Yet, like all good things in life, it comes to an end.
With a Presidential run in his native land of the Philippines now in his immediate future, Pacquiao has opted to walk away from the sport of boxing. Like always, the humble 42-year-old made sure that the first bulletin on his list in his heartfelt goodbye was to the fans who continued to watch and support him each step of the way.
“To the greatest fans and the greatest sport in the world, thank you,” said Pacquiao on his social media page. “Thank you for all the wonderful memories.”
Pacquiao’s poignant goodbye to the sport he’s loved for so long comes just over a month after he was upset in his final ring appearance. After originally signing up to face unified welterweight champion, Errol Spence Jr., Pacquiao was forced to change course as the Dallas native given no choice but to withdraw due to a severe eye injury.
Replacing Spence Jr. on the night was Cuban native Yordenis Ugas. While many were expecting Pacquiao to pick up the victory, Ugas proved to be far too much, winning a close unanimous decision victory.
While Pacquiao tipped his cap in the direction of Ugas, he mulled over the possibility of an immediate rematch. Those thoughts, ultimately, fell by the wayside as Pacquiao is now hanging up his gloves for good.
The story of Pacquiao is a unique one in every sense of the word. Growing up in his native land of the Philippines, Pacquiao struggled with extraordinary penury. Although things appeared bleak, he eventually found the sport of boxing and would go on to etch his name in the record books as one of the greatest the sport has ever seen.
With world titles spread across eight separate weight classes, along with incredible wins against Juan Manuel Marquez, Keith Thurman, Tim Bradley, Miguel Cotto and a slew of others – Pacquiao has carved out the sort of legacy that makes him one of a kind.
As the 42-year-old reached the latter stages of his career, he turned his attention more and more towards political issues in his native land. With a seat in the senate office, Pacquiao has decided to take another step forward in his battle toward improving the lives of his Filipino people as he attempts to make a run for President.
Ultimately, the choice to leave the boxing world has not been an easy one. With that said, Pacquiao believes it was a sagacious decision. But, before he made his exit, Pacquiao urges everyone to take a close, hard look at his own unlikely rise to the top of the sport. With the future first ballot Hall of Famer reaching such lofty heights, he believes everyone can do the same.
“This is the hardest decision I’ve ever made, but I’m at peace with it. Chase your dreams, work hard, and watch what happens. Goodbye boxing.”
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