Emmanuel Dapidran “Manny” Pacquiao, the only eight-division world champion in the history of the sport and the first boxer to win lineal championship in five different weight classes, currently serves as the Senator of the Philippines. Here are some facts about the Filipino professional boxer:
He is the first boxer to win major world titles in four of the weight classes known as ‘glamour division,’ flyweight, featherweight, lightweight and welterweight.
He was born Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao, on December 17, 1978, in Kibawe, Bukidnon, Philippines, to Rosalio Pacquiao and Dionisia Dapidran-Pacquiao. He is fourth among six siblings.
He did his schooling at Saavedra Saway Elementary School in General Santos City. After his parents separated he could not complete high school due to acute poverty. However in 2007, he cleared a high school equivalency exam.
He was awarded with a high school diploma by the Department of Education and obtained degree in business management from Notre Dame of Dadiangas University, General Santos City.
Pacquiao was raised a Roman Catholic, but strayed from Church as he rose to fame. A letter from his mother and the voice of God in his dreamchanged his life from drinking and gambling to devote believer. He is currently practicing Evangelical Protestant.
He left home in search of livelihood to support his mother whose meager income was not enough. At the age of 14, Pacquiao moved to Manila and virtually lived on the streets. He started boxing and made it to the Philippines national amateur boxing team, who took care of his needs.
He started his professional career at the age of 16, weighing 7 pounds less than the required weight for the ‘Light Flyweight’ division. He won his first bout against Edmund Enting Ignacio by unanimous decision on January 22, 1995.
After moving to ‘Flyweight’ division, he experienced his first defeat in his 12th bout against Rustico Torrecampo via a knockout. He failed to make the required weight and was forced to use heavier gloves, putting him under at a disadvantage.
After winning his OPBF Flyweight title in 1997, he challenged Chatchai Sasakul of Thailand for the WBC World Flyweight Title. He won the bout by knockout in the eighth round for his first major boxing title.
On May 10, 2000, He married Jinkee Jamora, a beauty consultant. They have five children, Emmanuel Jr. Michael Stephen, Mary Divine Grace, Queen Elizabeth and Israel.
Following his loss to Medgoen Singsurat, he gained weight and skipped the intermittent weight division and started participating in ‘Super Bantamweight’ division. On June 23, 2001, he defeated Lehlo Ledwaba by technical knockout in MGM Grand, Las Vegas, for IBF World Super Bantamweight Title.
Pacquiao moved over to ‘Featherweight’and on November 15, 2003, he defeat Marco Antonio Barrera, by technical knockout in the eleventh round at Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas, to claim the title. He was conferred the ‘Philippines President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.’
He captured his ‘Super Featherweight’ division title on January 21, 2006, by defeating Erik Morales, at Thomas and Mack Center, Las Vegas, by technical knockout.
Pacquiao, joined the Philippine Army’s reserve force on April 27, 2006, as a Sergeant and rose to special rank of Senior Master Sergeant by May 04, 2009. He presently holds the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
He claimed his ‘WBC World Lightweight’ Title on June 28, 2008, defeating David Diaz by knock out in the ninth round.
Pacquiao was decorated with the ‘Philippines Legion of Honor’ with the rank of ‘Officer,’ after he won the ‘Welterweight’ division title defeating Oscar De La Hoya, on December 06, 2008. The bout was dubbed as ‘The Dream Match’ which earned gate revenue of $ 17 million, making it the second largest in the history.
He fought Rickey Hatton of Britton in the ‘Light Welterweight’ division, billed as ‘The Battle of the East and West.’ He claimed the title for the first time by knockout in May 2009.
On November 13, 2010, he won his ‘Light Middleweight’ title defeating Antonio Margarito of Mexico via unanimous decision to win his eighth world title in as many divisions. He was ranked second on ESPN’s list of top pound-for-pound boxer of the past 25 years.
On February 18, 2009, Pacquiao was conferred the Honorary Doctorate in Humanity by Southwestern University, Cebu City, for his humanitarian work and boxing achievements.
Pacquiao also played professional basketball when on August 24, 2014, he was picked 11th overall in the first round of 2014 PBA draft by Kia Basketball Team. As the playing coach of the team he played for three seasons for a total of 9 games.
He entered politics in 2009, but was elected as congressman in 2010 from Sarangani province and took his oath of office on June 28. He scored a landslide victory over wealthy and political stalwart Roy Chiongbian. He went on to win the 2013 election unopposed for his second term.
He contested for the 2016 Philippines Senator seats and on May 19, 2016, he was formally proclaimed as one of the winners. He garnered more than 16 million votes and was 7th among 12 new members of the senate.
Although he started his acting career in 2000, as an extra in some local films, he landed his first lead role in 2005 Philippines films’ Lisensyadong Kamao, which stands for licensed fist.
He went on to star in three more film in 2008, including Anakng Kumander, with Ara Mina and Valerie Concepcion, which turned out to be box-office flop. His next film Wapakman in 2009, was theofficial entry in‘35thMetro Manila Film Festival,’ that year.
On November 26, 2013, the Philippine Bureau of Internal Revenue issued a freeze order on all of Pacquiao’s Philipine bank accounts due to his alleged failure to pay ₱2.2 billion in taxes for his earning in U.S.
He also recorded number of songs, mostly in his native language Tagalog in the three albums ‘Laban Nating Lahat Ito’ in 2006, ‘Pac-Man Punch’ in 2007 and ‘Lalaban Ako Para Sa Pilipino’ in 2015, as part of entertainment career.
Films based on his life and career have been released starting with ‘Pacquiao: The Movie’ in 2006, ‘Kid Kulafu’ in 2015 and a documentary titled ‘Manny.’
Pacquiao was accorded the honor of leading the Team Philippines as its flag-bearer during the opening ceremony of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, on August 08. He is the first non-Olympic Filipino participant as the flag-bearer.
In April 2015, Philippine Postal Corporation issued a stamp sheet in his honor. He is the first Filipino athlete to appear on a postage stamp.
Pacquiao has appeared on the cover of ‘Time Magazine Asia’ issue dated November 16, 2009 and was listed as its 100 most influential people for the year 2009.