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Man of destiny


PhilBoxing.com




It came as no surprise when Sen. Manny Pacquiao confirmed the other day he would retire from boxing. There really isn’t anything more he has to prove in the ring. Pacquiao is a Hall of Fame shoo-in and what he has achieved in 26 years of professional boxing will never be surpassed nor duplicated. Winning world titles in eight different weight divisions is a feat that will enshrine Pacquiao in the Guinness Book of World Records forever.

But retiring from boxing doesn’t mean Pacquiao is done with fighting. He’s now fighting on a plane far removed from the squared circle. Pacquiao is seeking the Presidency in the coming elections and it’s a fight where he’s convinced he’s destined to win. In the same way that Pacquiao fought his way to global stardom as a boxer “from nothing to something” to bring honor to his country, he hopes to do it all over again, this time in the political arena. It’s an uphill climb for Pacquiao but fighting as an underdog is nothing new to him. He believes that everyone has a purpose in life and his is to fight for his countrymen with all his heart.

Clearly, Pacquiao has a lot on his plate at the moment. His priorities are beyond winning in the ring. If he had in mind to do one more fight in December or January before hanging up his gloves for good, it appears that track has been supplanted by a higher goal. Preparing for a fight will take at least two months of training and that’s too much time off from consolidating his forces to prepare for the election campaign. Boxing fans will be disappointed that Pacquiao has decided to end his career without another crack at avenging his defeat to Yordenis Ugas or enticing Floyd Mayweather to engage in a rematch. But they’ll understand that Pacquiao is meant for greater things.

Age isn’t the issue because at 42, Pacquiao can surely bounce back from losing to Ugas. The real issue is Pacquiao following his path of destiny. He’s arrived at the crossroads where he must decide to either continue boxing or face the biggest fight of his life, the fight to provide a better future for all of us. Pacquiao has chosen to fight for the people.

In a glowing tribute to Pacquiao, Boxing News editor Matt Christie wrote: “His achievements are huge. To my mind, he is one of the greatest fighters of them all … he picked up belts in eight weight classes and ruled definitively in five of those. At his peak and for me, that was when he defeated Oscar de la Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto, he was an extraordinary fireball of a man who would have been competitive with any welterweight in history. The astonishing longevity and the manner in which he bounced back from defeats provide further evidence of his legend.

“Outside the ring, he was a joy. The manner in which he greeted every single person into Fitzroy Lodge to meet him and Amir Khan in 2015 was unforgettable. He posed for countless selfies that day and not once did his famous smile fade. That smile, that obvious lust for life, was always so infectious. Pacquiao exuded humanity that is so rare in modern day superstars. He was always grateful to his supporters and to the sport itself for changing his life. Pacquiao may not be the fighter of old but that same person remains. The one his country worships. The man whom his wife and family adore. ‘Words cannot express how proud I am of the man you are,’ Jinkee posted on Instagram. ‘I’m proud to be your wife. You mean the world to me and all our children. We love you so much. We, your family, have seen how much you have toiled, sacrificed and given of yourself, blood, sweat and tears since the beginning when you dreamed of becoming a world champion.’ With those words, Pacquiao has reached the ultimate mountain top. He has achieved what really matters in life.” Now, Pacquiao is on a mission to do something greater as a Man of Destiny.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Joaquin Henson.


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