Manny Pacquiao: Boxing Champion, Modern-Day Hero of the Philippines, and his Legacy

Diego Javier ‘22

Manny Pacquiao is considered to be one of the greatest boxers of our generation, and is a hero to many Filipinos around the world. Pacquiao is the only eight-division World Champion in the sport of boxing. He has won twelve major world titles and is the first boxer to win a lineal championship in five different weight classes. Aside from boxing, he was also elected and is currently serving a six-year term as a Senator of the Philippines. To appreciate these accomplishments, we must also reflect on the remarkable journey that Pacquiao has embarked on.

Pacquiao (right) training with his trainer Freddie Roach. 

Pacquiao’s life story is something out of a fairy tale. Pacquiao came from very modest beginnings, with his parents being poor and having to work for everything that he earned today. Pacquiao told tales of his early life about how he lived on the streets and did not eat much, rationing, so he can have food for the next day. Pacquiao wanted to become a boxer after seeing Mike Tyson knocking out James “Buster” Douglas in 1990. Pacquiao then moved to Manila when he was 16 and lied to become a professional boxer. After winning his first eleven fights, Pacquiao lost focus because of money and alcohol, which caused him to lose his first fight. This loss caused Pacquiao to become more serious about his sport and his future.

Throughout Pacquiao’s boxing career, he was always doubted and considered the underdog in most of his fights. In Pacquiao’s big break as a boxer, Pacquiao had to fight Super-Bantamweight Champion Lehlohonolo Ledwaba. Many people wrote off Pacquiao, because of his size, height, and him being a replacement fighter, but Pacquiao persevered, knocking out his opponent and obtaining the World Title. After this success, the rest is history with him defeating many top contenders such as Oscar de La Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Marco Antonio Barrera.  Pacquiao’s fights are timeless because they evoke emotions such as victory and humility and  feeling the same feeling that viewing these fights the first time you see it.

Pacquiao is one of the most influential and accomplished boxers, inspiring and bringing joy to many Filipinos and boxing fans around the world. The greatness of Pacquiao isn’t measured just by his wins, it is also measured by how many times he picks himself up after failing. His resilience, work ethic and humility echoes through his accomplishments in boxing and cements himself as a legend in the sport of boxing.