“To the greatest fans and the greatest spor in the world, thank you,” said Pacquiao on his social media page. “Thank you for all the wonderful memories.”
One of the greatest boxers of all time and the only man to hold world titles in eight different divisions, Pacquiao retired from boxing in September to run for the presidency.
The fighter known as PacMan announced that he was moving on to greener pastures. His exit, though, symbolizes the end of an era.
Himself and Mayweather created an era and her now both out of competitive bouts. With Mayweather engaging in lucrative exhibition bouts, and Pacquiao looking to lead his nation, boxing can finally say farewell to two of the best in the game, and the period that defined him.
Pacquiao, a Philippine senator who has been dividing his time between politics and fighting, made the announcement in a 14-minute video posted on his official Facebook page on Wednesday.
In August, the 42-year-old lost a WBA welterweight world title match against Cuban Yordenis Ugas.
Growing up in the south of the Philippines, Pacquiao’s family lived in dire poverty, prompting him to do odd jobs to survive.
As a teenager, he stowed away on a boat to the capital Manila, where he started competitive boxing.
Pacquiao was among the staunchest allies of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, backing the leader’s bloody war on drugs and his bid to reintroduce the death penalty.
But their political ties soured after Pacquiao criticised Duterte’s friendly relationship with China and corruption in the government.
In July, he was removed as president of the country’s ruling PDP-Laban party, leading a split and competing factions that nominated different candidates.
Pacquiao started his political career with a failed congressional run in 2007. He won a seat at the lower house of Congress in 2010, representing the southern Sarangani province.
In 2016, Pacquiao ran and won a seat in the Philippine Senate after serving two terms as a congressman from Mindanao.
The two-term congressman was then elected for a six-year term in the Senate in 2016, and is up for re-election in 2022.
As a senator, the fundamentalist Christian legislator advocated for the death penalty against illegal drug trade, suggesting that those found guilty should face execution by firing squad.
Pacquiao once famously said that even Jesus was sentenced to death.
Pacquiao has drew criticism from civil rights groups after he said that Filipino LGBT members are “worse than animals”.
As a boxing enthusiast I wish he wins at the polls and become the next president. On top of a glittering career as a fighter, we hope he reflect such feat in politics, if he wins.