Pac-Man, The Mexicutioner, The Destroyer, The Pride of the Philippines, People’s Champ, “Pambansang Kamao”, you name it. Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao aka Manny Pacquiao, currently the WBC Super Welterweight World Champion, WBO Welterweight World Champion (Super Champion) and the number one pound-for-pound best boxer, got the best nicknames that you can ever call in a boxer.
Well, he was just the first boxer to win ten world titles in eight different weight divisions and also the first boxer in history to win the lineal championship in four different weight classes.
He was named “Fighter of the Decade” for the 2000’s by the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and is also a three-time The Ring “Fighter of the Year”, winning the award in 2006, 2008, and 2009. He had accomplished what a boxer would want to accomplish in his career. But he’s not only a boxer because he’s also an actor, singer and a Congressman in Sarangani province.
As a boy who started from scratch and a boy who dropped out of high school due to poverty and left her mother at the age of 14, Pac-man suddenly followed his dreams and turned into an amateur boxer with a record of 60-4. In 1995, the death of a young aspiring boxer and close friend Eugene Barutag spurred the young Pacquiao to pursue a professional boxing career.
Pacquiao started his professional boxing career when he was just 16 years of age, stood at 4’11”, and weighed 98 pounds (7 pounds under the minimumweight division). He even admitted before American media that he put weights in his pockets to make the 105 pound weight limit.
His professional debut was a four round bout against Edmund “Enting” Ignacio, on January 22, 1995, which The Destroyer won via decision, becoming an instant star. Well, even losing in his 12th bout against Rustico Torrecampo via a third round knockout, the People’s Champ followed it and continued being undefeated for his next 15 fights.
Moving up little by little in the divisions, Pacquiao just got every title and belts in each of the division he is going. Losing just thrice in his professional career, Manny Pacquiao who started from Light Flyweight Division (106 pounds) dominated all the divisions from that division even up to Little Middleweight or Super Welterweight Division (150 pounds). What defined the career of The Mexicutioner was when he fought Marco Antonio Barrera whom back then was one of the most feared men of boxing.
Pacquiao, who was fighting at featherweight for the first time, brought his power with him and defeated Barrera via technical knockout in the eleventh round and won The Ring Featherweight World Title (as well as the lineal featherweight champion), making him the first Filipino and Asian to become a three-division world champion.
Known for his quickness, intensity and heart, Manny Pacquiao is known for much more than just his work inside the ring. With his fame and success, Pacquiao is still humble and God-fearing with his ritual, praying first in the ring before his fight starts. He’s also saying that his every fight is dedicated to all of us Filipinos.
According to the news, whenever Manny Pacquiao is having his fight, there are just minimal crimes happening and sometimes, there’s a zero crime rate. The “Pambansang Kamao” just really serves as a symbol of peace, hope and inspiration to all the aspiring boxers and even to just normal people. His hard work and dedication to his job, being not blind with his fame, money and success and even helping the poor people are the elements in what make him a very inspiring person.
With his next fight with Juan Manuel Marquez, win or lose on December 8 and still an unfinished business with Floyd Mayweather Jr., is it time for him to retire and for other Filipino boxers to step up and just continue his job as a politician? Or will he still continue his supremacy and dominance in the sport of boxing?