Senators on Wednesday, September 29, hailed Senator Manny Pacquiao after deciding to finally retire from boxing after a glittering decades-long career in the fighting ring, saying he will always be remembered as the “greatest boxer of all time.”
“Manny Pacquiao will always be the Greatest Boxer of All Time! The Filipino Pride of General Santos city! I wish him well! Mabuhay!” Senate President Vicente Sotto III said in a statement.
Pacquiao, who is now gearing up for the upcoming May, 2022 elections, would now have more time to devote to his campaign and pursue his platform of government, Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban) chairman and Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said.
Prior to announcing his retirement in boxing, Pacquiao has announced his decision to run for president in next year’s polls under the PDP-Laban party led by Pimentel.
“The same focus (includes discipline) he showed in winning a world record 8 divisions (weight classes) in boxing, he will now give to his campaign and beyond,” said Pimentel, Pacquiao’s partymate in the ruling political party that is now divided into two factions.
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri, likewise hailed Pacquiao as a “living legend.”
“He has nothing left to prove as an athlete, and as the only eight-division champion in boxing history, he has, in fact, set new records that I don’t think anyone will be able to match soon,” Zubiri said.
“He has given us some of the most exciting boxing matches in recent history, and he is already one of the all-time greats, whose skill and technique will continue to be studied by coaches and boxers for years to come,” he added.
“Already he has inspired countless Filipino athletes and given them hope that with hard work and dedication, they can succeed, no matter where they come from. I thank Sen. Manny for decades of inspiring athleticism and sportsmanship. He will always be our Pambansang Kamao,” the Senate majority leader added.
For his part, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto congratulated Pacquiao for having an exceptional boxing career. “He is truly an inspiration to many,” he said.
On Wednesday, Pacquiao announced he is retiring from boxing, describing it as “the hardest decision” he made in his life.
“It is difficult for me to accept that my time for me as a boxer is over,” Pacquiao, 42, who plans to run for president in the 2022 elections, said in a video message on Twitter.