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Monday, December 06, 2021
CEBU

Opponents, friends react to Pacquiao’s retirement

Yordenis Ugas, Manny Pacquiao and Marco Antonio Barrera. (SunStar file)

AFTER 26 years of pro boxing, and becoming one of the best boxers to ever lace the gloves, Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao finally called it a career.

Some of Pacquiao’s former opponents, friends and Filipino boxing personalities reacted to the retirement of boxing’s only eight-division world champion.

Pacquiao’s former opponents took to Twitter to thank and wish him well in the new chapter of his life.

“My best wishes to @MannyPacquiao. Great fighter and great human being. It was an honor,” tweeted Mexican great Marco Antonio Barrera with an old picture of him and Pacquiao.

Barrera fought Pacquiao twice. He was one of the three Mexican legends that Pacquiao at super featherweight along with Juan Manuel Marquez and Erik Morales. Pacquiao’s win over Barrera in 2003 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas sparked his career to stardom.

“Pacquiao is retiring from being an active fighter, now entering the biggest and most important fight of his life for the presidency of his country. Serving his country is always the greatest honor of any man. Luck and success champ @MannyPacquiao,” tweeted World Boxing Association (WBA) Yordenis Ugas.

Ugas was Pacquiao’s last opponent before he retired. The Cuban star beat Pacquiao by unanimous decision on Aug. 21, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Pacquiao’s retirement is bittersweet for his close friend, retired two-division world champion Gerry Peñalosa.

“I’m sad because we won’t be able to see him in the ring but I’m happy at the same time because he’ll have more time with his family. Thank you, ‘Pacman’ for the honor that you have given to the Philippines. There will never be another ‘Pacman.’ GOAT (greatest of all time),” Peñalosa told SunStar Cebu.

Big Yellow Boxing Gym head coach Christopher “Ping-Ping” Tepora, who had the chance to be in Pacquiao’s camp in Gen. Santos with his brother Jhack Tepora, is thankful that Pacquiao retired with his health intact so that he’ll be able to move on to a different chapter of his life.

“For me, it’s a good decision that Manny retired. He has given so much pride to the country. He retired healthy. Maybe he might win as president,” he said.

Former world champions Donnie Nietes and Marlon Tapales also agree with Pacquiao’s decision and believe that his place in history as one of the greatest boxers of all time is already secured.

“I agree with his decision. He has nothing to prove in boxing. Nobody can surpass what he has achieved,” said Nietes, a world champion in four different divisions. “Manny is one of the best boxers, not only in the Philippines but the whole world.”

“For me it’s a very good decision because he has nothing to prove in boxing,” said Tapales, the former World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight titleholder.

The 42-year-old Pacquiao finished with a record of 62 wins, eight defeats and two draws with 39 wins by knockout. He’s boxing’s only eight-division world champion and has won four lineal world titles. He was named “Fighter of the Decade” by the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and was awarded “Fighter of the Year” by The Ring Magazine and the BWAA three times.

With his retirement, Pacquiao’s focus right now is on his political career, wherein he plans to run for president in the 2022 elections.


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