On December 17, 1978 in Philippines, a child took birth in a small middle class family and his parents named him Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao. Little did they know that this child would go on to become nothing short of a legend of his times. The ones who follow the world of boxing closely, they would have guessed it by now who am I talking about. For the uninitiated, I am talking about Manny Pacquiao, the first boxer to win seven world titles in seven different weight divisions.
It is not without reason that Manny Pacquaiao has been voted by Ring magazine as the number 1 pound for pound boxer in the world. He is currently the WBO world welterweight champion and also Ring magazine light welterweight champion. Apart from winning in almost every category he has ever taken part in, Manny Pacquiao is also the only boxer in the world to have the Lineal championship or “man who beat the man championship” in four different weight classes. Truly a champion, isn’t he?
But that is not where his genius ends. He is a man with many abilities. Manny Pacquiao has been actively pursuing his interests in fields as diverse as singing, acting and politics (acting and politics are not as diverse though). Although he hasn’t been half as successful in any of these fields as he has been in boxing.
Manny Pacquiao or the Mexicutioner as he is otherwise popularly called has vowed to enter politics after he retires from the sport of boxing. He has already made a brief foray into the world of politics but was unsuccessful, when his bid for the congressional seat for Philippines was rejected. And part of the reason for this defeat was his very own fans who did not want their hero to get into the dirty world of politics.
This thirty year old boxer is married to Jenkee and resides in a royal mansion in General Santos City which is protected by armed guards 2487. This legend, who used to sell ice water and donuts to etch out a living, hasn’t looked back ever since he won his first boxing title. And it was a life turning event which made him pursue boxing as a passion- the death of his close friend mark Penaflorida.
As much as his hard work and dedication has helped him reach where he is today, destiny has also played a huge role in making him a true living legend. In June 23, 2001, he came in as a late replacement for his country in super bantamweight category and then won the match by a technical default. Manny Pacquiao hasn’t stopped winning ever since.
Such is his popularity that a film was made based on his life called Pacquiao: the movie.
Although the film tanked, Pacquiao has been actively pursuing a career in acting and has been signed on to feature in the boxing themed drama series Totoy Bato on a Filipino television network. This “People’s Champion” sure deserves a place among the greats of all times like Mohammad Ali. May the world get to see this hero in action for as long as possible.