Manny Pacquiao: A Legendary Career
By Oliver McManus
Manny Pacquiao, for decades, existed as the atypical boxing champion: brash and beautiful, in equal measure, in the ring but a classy, amiable character outside of it. Pacquiao was everything boxing should be – characteristics we often forget to appreciate at the time from a champion truly lasting the test of time.
The eight division world champion leaves a legacy that will likely never be matched: first becoming world champion just thirteen days shy of his 20th birthday before claiming his last world title aged 40. His ambition and desire has never waivered despite the endless list of accomplishments and accolades.
Just looking at the opponents on his resumé is like reeling of a who’s-who of Hall of Fame contenders: Erik Morales, Oscar de la Hoya, Marco Antonio Barrera, Juan Manuel Marquez, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley, Antonio Margarito, Timothy Bradley, Lucas Matthysse… and the list goes on. Most impressive is his tenacity and resilience to bounce back from those pesky defeats and flourish on his return.
After Jeff Horn defeated Pacquiao back in July 2017 there were calls a plenty for the, then, 38 year old to hang up his gloves. It’s a decision that you couldn’t have begrudged the Filipino but, instead, Manny simply rolled back the years and brushed aside Matthyse, Adrian Broner and Keith Thurman in the space of just twelve months.
For as much as he’ll be remembered as a Champion who defied all the logic of time and science – no man should be as sprightly as Pacquiao at 42 years of age having been in as many wars as he has – his legacy will be as much about the type of man he is.
Much can be made about some of his political views – and that’s a whole other article in itself – but the Senator has long been a source of hope and optimism for the people of the Philippines. A sportsperson, far less a politician, possessing the ability to bring a nation together with such regularity and enthusiasm is practically unheard of.
Manny Pacquiao’s legacy is secure so to his status as one of the greatest of all time: boxing is a far poorer sport for his retirement.