Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao, Sr., perhaps one of the greatest boxers to ever live, recently announced his retirement days before his 43rd birthday, following his loss to crafty champion Yordenis Ugas. One of boxing’s best, many of the current greatest fighters in the world looked up to “The PacMan,” so it’s only right that we take a look back at the boxing career of Manny Pacquiao as he closes this chapter in his life to move out of the ring and into a different kind of arena.
The Electrifying Style of Manny Pacquiao
All boxers at the top level have incredible skills and latent abilities that make them stand out, but there was always something special about Manny. Fighting out of a Southpaw stance, he used his incredible footwork and hand speed to engage in extremely close range counterpunching and used his fast flurries to ‘shade’ or cover up his footwork as he cut angles to the left and right before pouring on the power. This, coupled with an amazing gas tank, gave Manny an all-action style that never failed to create fantastic fights.
Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime
Many boxers talk about never avoiding anyone in the ring, but nobody in the current generation of fighters embodies that concept as much as Manny Pacquiao. An old school warrior, “The PacMan” built his name on taking fights against the toughest names in the sport, and in doing so, he earned the respect of the entire boxing community. His incredible heart, refusal to back down from a fight, and entertaining boxing style combined to give him an aura of a true “lion”, a world class contender and champion.
An eight division world champion
Manny Pacquiao conquered 8 different divisions, from flyweight to light middleweight, during his career. This is a feat that is near impossible to replicate due to the sheer size disparity that occurs as you move up past your natural weight. In doing this, Manny Pacquiao cemented his legacy alongside the other titans of the sport, such as Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns, Marvin Hagler, Roberto Duran, and many other famous names that define what it means to be a boxer.
To close out this look back at the footsteps of a giant, I’d like to leave a list of my favorite classic Manny Pacquiao fights. Just in case you haven’t seen them, I’ve given no spoilers.
The Marquez v PacMan Saga (2004, 2008, 2011, 2012)
Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Manny Pacquiao 1-4. This is hands down one of the greatest rivalries in the sport, two all-action fighters with guts to match.
Manny Pacquiao vs. Erik Morales 1 (2005), 2 (2006), and 3 (2006)
These three fights tell an amazing story, so I suggest watching them in order.
Manny Pacquiao vs. Oscar De La Hoya (2008)
Arguably the fight that catapulted Manny Pacquiao into superstardom.
Manny Pacquiao vs. Miguel Cotto (2009)
A fight between two brave, fast, hard-hitting fighters that was all action from start to finish.
Manny Pacquiao vs. Antonio Margarito (2010)
What an amazing fight this was to see. Pacquiao looks like David against Goliath in this fight.
The Greatest of an Era
It is my personal opinion that Manny Pacquiao is the greatest boxer of our generation and the one most deserving to be in the pantheon of All Time Greats. His electric style, charismatic and courteous personality, and his chivalry in the ring firmly cement his legacy as the defining fighter of the 2000s, and if you haven’t seen a lot of his fights, I strongly suggest watching them. I wish the PacMan all the best in his future endeavors and would like to thank him for his contributions to the sport.
What's Next For PacMan?
But this isn't the last we'll see and hear from the PacMan. Although he'll be retiring from the ring, Pacquiao won't be out of the public eye. He currently holds a seat in the Philippine Senate and has announced his bid for the Philippine presidency in the upcoming 2022 election.
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