Boxing, politics and the Christian faith: Emmanuel "Manny" Pacquiao, who has just announced his retirement from sports at the age of 42 and now dre
Boxing, politics and the Christian faith: Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao, who has just announced his retirement from sports at the age of 42 and now dreams of being president of the Philippines, has placed his destiny under the protection of this curious trinity.
In the Philippines he is a very rich national hero, almost a demigod, who multiplies his roles: deputy, Christian preacher, basketball player and coach, singer, promoter of various brands.
On the ring, the 25-year career of “Pac Man” is one of the most impressive in history. With 72 bouts, 62 of them wins, he is the only boxer to have won in all six weight classes (flyweight to super-welterweight) in the largest federations (WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO), eight including minor titles. OIB and Ring Magazine.
Symbol of exceptional longevity, 21 years separate his first title from his last. Achieving the WBA welterweight belt against Keith Thurman, on July 20, 2019, he became the oldest champion in history in that category at 40 years and seven months.
In August, he failed in his attempt to increase his legend when he fell, at 42, against the Cuban Yordenis Ugas for the same belt. His 72nd and last fight.
– Success story –
Supported by his immense popularity, he now wants to dedicate himself exclusively to political combat, aiming for the presidential elections of 2022.
After two terms as deputy and one as senator, victory is far from certain, but not impossible in a country where the political class is full of celebrities.
Above all, his journey from poverty to the brilliance of the boxing world is a success story.
Born in Bukidnon, Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao dropped out of school at the age of 14 and sold food on the road to help his mother and two young brothers.
On the ring, thanks to the speed of his footwork, he rises rapidly to become one of the greatest boxers of all time.
Oscar de la Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, Erik Morales or Marco Antonio Barrera could not do anything against him.
The sudden fame made him fall into excesses of all kinds: alcohol, gambling, cockfighting, rumors of extramarital affairs with movie stars …
But, in 2012, whoever was raised in Catholicism like 90% of Filipinos, embraces the evangelical faith and ends his life as a sinner. He claims to have been chosen by the Almighty to spread the message of Christ.
In the Philippines, his status as a national hero allows him to do several things: pizza and car promoter, television host, actor, professional basketball player … and even creator of a cryptocurrency with his name, the “PAC Token”.
Known for his generosity, he has donated huge sums of money to friends, fans, and people in need.
– War on the cartels and homophobia –
But criticism of him is not lacking either, especially since he entered politics and aspires to lead a country of 110 million inhabitants.
At times, the target of ridicule for his somewhat gross side, he is also criticized for his poor attendance at Parliament, to which he has been elected since 2010, first as a deputy (2010-2016) and then as a senator (since 2016).
He also takes a great risk by competing with the popular outgoing president, Rodrigo Duterte.
On the bottom, it sparked a controversy by supporting the bloody war against the drug cartels carried out by the president, which, according to NGOs, has caused tens of thousands of deaths and is the subject of an investigation at the International Criminal Court .
He has also made public, in the name of his faith, his firm opposition to divorce, abortion and contraception, and multiplied his homophobic overtones, which earned him the loss of his advertising contract with Nike.