A legendary pugilist has unlaced his gloves and exited the boxing ring to instead fight in the political arena.
Filipino boxing champion Manny Pacquiao announced Tuesday that he would be officially retiring from the sport, a move that will allow him to concentrate on his 2022 presidential campaign in the Philippines, the Washington Examiner reports.
Retirement formally announced
The announcement that stunned the boxing world came by way of a slickly produced video posted to Pacquiao’s Facebook page that was titled “Good bye boxing.” Take a look:
The video jumped back and forth between clips of Pacquiao fighting and training, from his earliest fights decades ago to the modern era, and him delivering his latest announcement.
Pacquiao expressed his profuse gratitude for everyone who supported his successful boxing career over the years, including his many family members, coaches, trainers, promoters, his legion of fans around the globe, and even his attorneys.
He also made it a point to expressly highlight his deep faith, thanking God for granting him the skills necessary to succeed as a fighter, which allowed him and his family the opportunity to escape poverty.
Nominated as a presidential candidate
This retirement announcement from Pacquiao comes less than two weeks after the boxer accepted the nomination of the PDP-Laban party to be its candidate for president in the upcoming 2022 elections in the Philippines, as ABC News reported at that time.
“I am a fighter and I will always be a fighter inside and outside the ring. In my whole life, I have not backed out of a fight. Because in the name of principle, the nation’s pride, I stand reaffirmed and strong,” Pacquiao said in his acceptance speech, according to ABC.
Given his own personal history, the now-former boxer has made eradicating poverty and improving the lives of all Filipinos a centerpiece of his presidential run.
He’s also focused on governmental corruption and has pointed an accusatory finger at President Rodrigo Duterte’s administation, going so far as to warn that the current leader and his allies could soon be facing “imprisonment.”
According to ABC, this isn’t Pacquiao’s first foray into the political arena. He was first elected to the Philippine’s Congress in 2010 and its Senate in 2016.