Manny Pacquiao is widely known as the fourth greatest pound to pound boxer of all time. The Filipino professional boxer cum politician is also a Senator in his home country, Philippines and he has crafted a legacy that would last him a lifetime not only in sports.
On the international level, Manny Pacquiao has established himself as the first boxer in history to win world major titles in four of the original eight weight classes of boxing including featherweight, flyweight, welterweight, and lightweight. His boxing prowess has also earned him a good spot on ESPN as the second pound for pound boxer of the past 25 years in 2016. With eleven major world titles to his credit, Pacquiao remains the only eight-division world champion in the history of the game.
In April 2015, Pacquiao became the first Filipino athlete to appear on a postage stamp sheet issued by the Philippine Postal Corporation. As endless as his accolades seem to be, we are going to explore the champion who rose beyond expectation in the world of sport.
Manny Pacquiao’s Biography (Age)
Born on December 17, 1978, in Kibawe, Bukidnon, Philippines, Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao is the fourth among six children – two from his mother’s previous marriage and three of whom he shares the same father with. His parents separated during his sixth grade and he left home at age 14 because his mother wasn’t earning enough money to support the family.
In one of his post on Instagram, Pacquiao recalled how he would live on one meal a day and sometimes sleep in the streets. According to him, those were the experiences that inspired his achievements. Although he dropped out of high school due to financial constraints and moved to Manila where he joined the Philippine national amateur boxing team. Several years later, precisely in 2007, he returned to acquire a formal education. and went on to pass a high school equivalency exam, making him eligible for a college education.
So far Pacquiao has acquired a college degree in business management at Notre Dame of Dadiangas University (NDDU); an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humanities (Honoris Causa) by Southwestern University (SWU); and in preparation for his political ambition, he enrolled for a Certificate Course in Development, Legislation, and Governance at the Development Academy of the Philippines – Graduate School of Public and Development Management (DAP-GSPDM).
Manny Pacquiao was only 16 years old when he began boxing on a professional level in the Philippines starting from 1995. At that age, Pacquiao was only 4 ft 11 and weighed 98 pounds; 7 pounds less than the minimumweight division of the combat sports.
In his first year of debuting on the ring in his country, he won every single fight, starting with light flyweight to flyweight. It didn’t take long before viewers became accustomed to the name Pacquiao and he gained a reputation as the aggressive, go-for-broke, for his kamikaze-style of fighting and unique looks.
He lost only one fight on February 9, 1996, but continued with his winning trend up to the next three years until September 17, 1999, when he lost to Medgoen Singsurat from Thailand and lost the lineal flyweight title; Pacquiao had won and retained that title up until that date.
However, on December 18 that year, he beat Philippines’ boxer Reynante Jamili in the Featherweight division to win the vacant WBC International super bantamweight title. He retained the title for two consecutive years as well as won the IBF super bantamweight title on June 23, 2001.
Manny Pacquiao had a draw match with Dominican Republican, Agapito Sánchez after he was cut from an accidental head clash during their fight at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, California. Nevertheless, he made a come back on June 8, 2002, at The Pyramid, Memphis, Tennessee, retaining his IBF super bantamweight title and winning The Ring and lineal featherweight titles in 2003.
He went to win five consecutive fights that year and only met a draw and one loss in 2004, but from 2005 to 2011 (fighting majorly in the United States) Pacquiao added extra titles to his legacy including the vacant WBC International super featherweight title; the WBC, vacant The Ring and lineal super featherweight titles; WBC lightweight title; IBO, The Ring, and lineal light welterweight titles; WBO welterweight title; and a vacant WBC super welterweight title.
The year 2012 was not a good year for Manny Pacquiao as he lost all two fights to American Timothy Bradley (June 9, 2012) and to Mexican Juan Manuel Márquez on December 8, 2012 Fight of the Decade. He later won his only fight in 2013, winning the vacant WBO International welterweight title and further won two more in 2014 to retain the title.
As the eight-division world champion, Pacquiao dueled it out with the five-division world champion, Floyld Mayweather Jr in the Battle for Greatness on May 2, 2015. After years of tumultuous negotiations, what was billed the Fight of the Century, was met with intense criticism at the final result, with reporters and fellow fighters questioning the Compubox stats and judges scorecards. It was stated that Pacquiao should have won via a small edge since the action was lost in the course of Mayweather’s defense-oriented strategy. In the end, the Mayweather vs Pacquiao match earned a record 4.4 million pay-per-view buys.
The Filipino temporary retired from boxing after winning two matches in 2016. Amidst his position as the Senator of the Philippines, Pacquiao fought one match in 2017 and lost. He continues to be matched up for bouts of boxing up to 2018 in which he won WBA (Regular) welterweight title.
In all of his boxing records, Manny Pacquiao has participated in 69 fights with 60 wins; 7 losses (3 by knockout and 2 by decision); and 2 Draws.
The fighter cum senator has immersed a net worth of $200 million both in boxing and personal investments. Pacquiao reportedly earned $20 million plus his cut of Filipino TV money after the bout with Timothy Bradley; earned $35 million for his two fights against Joshua Clottey in 2010 and Miguel Cotto in 2009. According to Forbes, Pacquiao’s fight with Floyd Mayweather set every financial record in the history of boxing, including gate ($73 million), PPV buys (4.6 million), and total revenue ($600 million); the champion was rewarded with a $125 million payday.
In 2015, the magazine also listed him as the second highest paid athlete in the world as well as #63 in 2016 with a $24 million (salary/winnings $21.5 million + endorsements $2.5 million) in earnings. In all, Pacquiao has generated approximately $1.2 billion in revenue from his 23 pay-per-view bouts and 19.2 million in pay-per-view buys.
Before landing the position in his country’s senate, he was elected to the House of Representatives.
Wife, Is He Gay?
Manny Pacquiao got married in 2000 to his wife Jinkee Capeña Pacquiao (January 12, 1979) and for decades, the couple remains together with 5 children; three sons and two daughters. Pacquiao’s wife was also a politician, served one term as vice governor of Sarangani province in Mindanao, Philippines. She later retired to run her businesses and take care of her family.
As for whether the Pacquiao is gay, that is not up for a debate since the Filipino champion is known to be a devout Christain who believes that being gay goes against the word of God. His description of gay couples as ‘worse than animals’ in 2016 brought backlashes from all corners of the US; from gay rights activists and celebrities alike. But that didn’t dent his morale. Although he apologized for comparing them with animals, he insisted it didn’t change what the Bible already stated about sodomy.