Manny Pacquiao is calling it a career — in boxing.
Pacquiao announced Wednesday on social media that he would be hanging up his gloves for good, retiring as the only eight-division champion in boxing history and as one of the greatest boxers of all time.
The decision comes just over a week after he made the decision to continue to further his political career, as he will be running for president of the Philippines against incumbert Rodrigo Duterte.
While Pacquiao has received most of his acclaim in the United States for boxing, he has been in the political ring in the Philippines for over a decade, first as a house representative and then as a senator before making the decision to run for president.
Pacquiao’s history in politics
Pacquiao has been revered in his home country of the Philippines as his rise from poverty to stardom in the sports world made him one of the most iconic figures ever in the nation.
He first decided to test his popularity in the political field when he ran for office first as a candidate of the LIberal Party in February 2007. He lost the election, but ran for a congressional seat at the Sarangani province in November 2009 and won the election with over two-thirds of the vote.
Two years later, he ran for senator and made it under the United Nationalist Alliance. He won the election in 2016, and switched to the PDP-Laban party, which was aligned with the government of Duterte. Duterte has been a controversial figure across the world due in large part to his War on Drugs, which, according to the Human Rights Watch, has led to the deaths of more than 12,000 Filipinos.
While a senator, Pacquiao has drawn criticism for his opposition to same-sex marriage and his support of the death penalty. During his first year as a senator, he said that “if you have male-on-male, female-on-female [relationships], then people are worse than animals,” according to ESPN.
He also recorded the worst attendance from 2018 to 2019 as senator, according to Rappler.
As Pacquiao moved toward a potential run for president in the nation, he was named acting president of the PDP-Laban in December 2020, but he was voted out as the leader in July after he began to challenge Duterte on China and on fighting corruption, according to Reuters.
Pacquiao runs for president
Back on Sept. 19, Pacquiao announced he would be running for president, and accepted the nomination of allies he has within his supporting faction of the PDP-Laban Party, according to Reuters.
While Duterte is ineligible to run for president again, he has been nominated as vice president, which the Reuters report said has drawn the ire of critics who say it is a move for him to retain power. Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, a longtime aide of Duterte, received the nomination by the rival faction within the PDP-Laban Party, but he declined the nomination.
The faction supporting Duterte, which is led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, has asked the Commission on Elections to call Pacquiao’s faction “illegitimate,” according to Rappler.
According to CBS News, Pacquiao is currently trailing in the polls to Duterte’s daughter, Sara Duterte, who is the mayor of Davao City.
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