Philippine boxing great Pacquiao retires to focus on presidential bid

Sep 30 , 2021. 13 hours ago – 21:15 KYODO NEWS

Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines poses in front of fans in Las Vegas on April 28, 2015, ahead of his bout against Floyd Mayweather of the United States. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

MANILA – Philippine boxing legend, national hero and politician Manny Pacquiao announced his retirement from the sport on Wednesday as he focuses on his bid for president in the May 2022 election.

Pacquiao, who has won world titles in eight different weight divisions, had 72 fights overall during his career with 62 wins, eight losses and two draws. Of those wins, 39 were by knockout.

The 42-year-old senator announced his candidacy on Sept. 19, weeks after losing a professional fight against Yordenis Ugas of Cuba in Las Vegas.

“It is difficult for me to accept that my time as a boxer is over. Today I am announcing my retirement,” Pacquiao said in a video message posted on his Facebook page.

Pacquiao retired from professional boxing before, in April 2016. But he reemerged from retirement in November that year.

Pacquiao has been a senator from the ruling PDP-Laban party since 2016 after serving two terms in the House of Representatives from the Liberal Party.

While Pacquiao had supported the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, he is currently embroiled in a political feud with Duterte, with both sides leading their own factions within the party.

Pacquiao recently criticized Duterte for failing in the handling of the territorial dispute with China in the South China Sea and for his allegations of corruption.

In response to the criticism, Duterte retorted that Pacquiao is not well-versed in foreign policy and accused the boxing icon of frequently being absent from the Senate.

Duterte, whose term will expire in 2022 , said in August that he would run as his party’s candidate in the vice presidential race in May next year. The Constitution limits the position of president to a single six-year term.