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‘I never thought this day would come.’ Pacquiao bids farewell to boxing and thanks supporters in emotional video

By SAAB LARIOSA Published Sep 29, 2021 3:06 pm

Manny Pacquiao has officially said goodbye to the world of boxing.

After months of speculation, the athlete-senator confirmed the news with a lengthy Instagram video on Sept. 29 saying farewell to the sport and thanking the many supporters he's gained throughout the years.

"Sa pagkakataong ito, hayaan niyo po akong pasalamatan at bigyang pugay ang mga taong nagsakripisyo upang tulungan akong maisakatuparan ang aking mga pangarap," he began.

He first gives thanks to his maternal uncle Sardo Meija, who introduced Manny to the sport at 12-years-old: “Siya po nagmulat ng aking isipan about boxing.”

He went on to thank the Davao Del Sur provincial boxing team for taking him in after being rejected to represent the Philippines in his early years as a boxer.

"Sinasabing wala daw akong pagasa sa boxing. Ngunit hindi po ako nadiscourage."

In a twist of fate, he went on to become the first non-Olympian to be the Philippines' national flag-bearer during the 2008 Summer Olympics.

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A post shared by Manny Pacquiao (@mannypacquiao)

Pacquiao then listed a series of families who aided him in his sports journey, from giving him a place to stay to providing financial support.

He thanked people who helped him as he neared the height of his career, inlcuding manager Rod Nazario, who brought him to the United States and introduced him to his longtime coach, Freddy Roach of Wildcard Boxing Gym. It's long been known that Nazario steered Manny's career to stardom.

The boxer also thanked those who have been part of Team Pacquiao.

“Freddy Roach was not only my trainer but my family, a brother, a friend," he added. “I recognize the important contributions of those who become my trainers. Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat.”

"When you speak of friends, there is no one closer to me than Buboy Fernandez, whom I have known for almost my whole life. He is more than a coach to me."

Fernandez has been with Manny through all his boxing matches and has remained a constant friend through the years.

He went on to thank boxing promoter Bob Arum, members of the media, and his family for sticking by his side: "You are one of my inspirations to stand firm in the faith."

“Who would have thought that Manny Pacquiao would end up with 12 major world titles in eight different weight divisions? Even me, I am amazed of what I have done.”

He added that it's time to shine the spotlight on the country's up and coming young boxers: "Napakarami nating mga potential boxers na mas bata at puno ng pag-asa na makapagdala ng karangalan sa ating bansa. Sila naman po ang ating tulungan."

The 46-year-old is exiting the sport after more than 20 years and is leaving behind a legacy as one of the greatest boxers of all time. 

"It is difficult for me to accept that my time as a boxer is over. Today I am announcing my retirement."

“I never thought that this day would come. As I hang up my boxing gloves, I would like to thank the whole world especially the Filipino people for supporting Manny Pacquiao."

“Goodbye, boxing," he concluded.

Watch his send-off video in full here:

Photos from Manny Pacquiao's Instagram